Nairobi Men, women Infertility Media training ends

Friday, July 13, 2018

One-day media training on men and women infertility in Africa organised by Merck Foundation has ended in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. This is the first time Merck Foundation has organised the event for over three-hundred Journalists from 17 African countries to break the stigma around infertility in Africa.

Speaking at the start of the training, chief executive officer of Merck Foundation, Dr. Rasha Kelej said the training is part of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ community awareness initiative.

She explained that the training is organised to emphasize the important role the media plays in influencing society to create a cultural shift and to break the stigma around infertility in general and the infertile woman in particular.

Madam Kelej explained that her Foundation engages in advocacy, open dialogue and works closely with governments, policy makers, parliaments, healthcare providers, experts and journalists.

Pauline Kibui, a Kenyan embryologist said some African traditional cultures as well as religious practices together with low resources are linked with high levels of non-genetic and preventable diseases, adding that infertility exists among over 85% of women in sub-Saharan Africa compared to 33% worldwide.

Professor Oladapo Ashiru, president of Africa Infertility Society of Nigeria in his presentation said medical or health education involves imparting information in a way that the recipient is motivated to use it for the protection or advancement of his own, family or community’s health.

He explained that any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improves their health by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.

Dr. Tareq Muhammed Salahuddin, editor of health section of the Daily Star in Bangladesh said the contribution of the media to the management of infertility would increase awareness and knowledge on infertility and its treatment as well as the voice of the public on the benefits and demerits of infertility and the role of male and female in treatment.

Renee Ngamau, Co-host at Capital FM and Women in Media Network champion said the radio has a powerful role to disseminate information at grassroots level. She challenged journalists to make best use of the knowledge gained from the training to better inform and educate their listeners or audience.

Participants were awarded with certificates of attendance and participation at the end of the training.

Author: Isatou Senghore-Njie in Nairobi, Kenya