Infertility in Africa: Why Africa is a state of ‘barrenness amid plenty’.

Infertility has been one of the major issues that the world is facing now. All over the world, infertility has made a major impact on the mental as well as physical health of women. Previously this issue was not much discussed neither many methods were found to cure infertility.

Still now despite the invention of innumerable treatments to cure infertility, people are still skeptical about taking help of medical science. In the majority of the places, women are blamed for infertility only, men here play no role to be blamed for. The same scenario persists in Africa and in a deep-rooted manner. Women here in the society plays a bigger role in reproducing children, their marriage depends on their ability to reproduce. Women who cannot conceive are considered as “barren” by the society. In Africa, children are a sign of good fortune and healthy marriage of a couple, not being able to reproduce hence puts a huge responsibility to worry about on couples.

This cultural stigma imposes a huge burden on the couples who are not being able to reproduce; they become a burden to the family for not being able to keep the clan going on to the other generations. In case of women this burden soon becomes unbearable and drastic.

A woman’s womanhood is proved by her capability of reproducing in Africa and likewise giving birth to children also establishes the manhood of a man. A couple not having children is considered as incomplete in the society. Men here are not considered responsible behind the incapability of conceiving by a woman; it is always the woman’s fault, hence this issue imposes a lot of negativity in their life. Infertility has been one of the major reasons why married women go through depression in their life.

Africa has been through a massive transformation over the years but the social stigma on infertility persists till date. Despite the availability of so many methods which will help a couple to conceive, the majority of them do not prefer the medical methods.

Women in African society are abused or left alone when they are not being able to reproduce. Their marriage life ends which makes them highly depressed and stressed out. This social burden of having a child of their own make the majority of the couples mentally and physically stressed which eventually even slims down the probability of conceiving.

Couples who are unable to reproduce often take the path or getting divorced or separated. The man leaves his wife or gets married to someone else. This situation leads into polygamy where the society permits it openly.

How does Africa still suffer from infertility when the world is not, when there are already so many forms of conceiving why Africa is still thriving in the dark ages where women and men suffer for not having a child of their own?

The following reasons are found to justify the condition of Africa in the current days:

Extremely high prices for treatment.

Majority of the places in Africa do not have infertility treatment clinics, or specialists who are capable of performing the treatments. People who plan to take medical help to conceive either requires flying to other neighboring countries to get help or find clinics which are mostly in South Africa.

Economical issues persisted in Africa for the longest period of time hence not every citizen living there are financially stable enough to afford the medical treatment for them and suffer.

Lack of proper services.

Like mentioned before, not all places in Africa possess the expert services to cure infertility. Few places like Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa provides people with assistance and services on infertility treatment. But people who plan to opt for the treatment has to go through 1500 IVF cycles whereas in normal a person requires to go through a maximum of 6 IVF cycles. In Africa, the population is around 1 million so to meet the population demand there have to be around 1.5 million cycles to finally give birth to a baby. But the current scenario is never going to meet the mass demand, unfortunately.

The government even thought of starting investing since the population rate is going down in Africa yet it is not enough to help every couple in the country to avail the services to cure of infertility.

Lack of awareness

Still now in Africa very few people are confident enough to come up with their infertility issue and find a cure for that. Most women are held responsible for the incapability of conceiving even if they are not and ultimately they are left alone by their husbands. The society mistreats them instead of making them aware of the possibilities of getting treated medically. People who are aware of the treatment procedures cannot afford it on the other hand. Hence there is a huge complication persisting in the African society which can only be taken care of if the government steps up to help and bring some effective measures.




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