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Regional News of Tuesday, 7 September 2004

Source: GNA

Expert urges Ghanaians to embrace adoption

Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - A lecturer at the University of Ghana Medical School on Tuesday urged Ghanaians to go beyond seeing childlessness as an issue and embrace the idea of adoption as a way out of stress, stigmatisation and other associated implications of such a condition. Professor Yao Kwawukume, who is also the Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, said desperate childless couples should go in for adoption in order to enjoy a full life or learn to live with each other with or without a child.

This, he said, was important so that the issue of childlessness with its attendant emotional stress did not become a strain on the marriage.

Prof. Kwawukume was speaking on infertility at a health promotion talk on maternal health organised by the Ghana Health Service (GHS). He said some causes of infertility among men had to do with un-descended testicles, exposure of the testicles to heat and the wearing of tight underwear and excessive intake of alcohol.

Prof. Kwawukume called for education among the public and said there was a lot of misconception about infertility including the attribution of the condition to witchcraft, punishment for infidelity and anger of ancestors.

He called for the establishment of specialised care for the treatment of infertility in all health facilities, saying the condition was found in both men and women.

Dr Sylvia Deganus, a Consultant at the Tema General Hospital, said there were problems with the number of women turning up for supervised deliveries.

Out of the women, who turned up for antenatal care at health facilities in 2003, only 47 per cent of this number came for supervised delivery.

She said every pregnancy was risky and urged women and their families to prepare not only for delivery but for complications as well. Dr Deganus urged health workers to treat each pregnant woman as an individual and create a client-friendly facility to encourage more women to visit them.