Fiona Ruzha, H-Metro Reporter
THE media has been challenged to play a leading role in the dissemination of balanced news on infertility issues in the country.
First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa made the challenge while speaking at the official opening of the Merck Health Media training workshop in the capital yesterday.
Amai Mnangagwa, who is partnering with Merck Foundation in this initiative, said they are working hard on improving areas of health and development that are often neglected or overlooked and the media plays a significant role in addressing these issues.
“We should take note of the serious role the media plays in addressing issues of stigma relating to infertility.
“We want the media to bring out the message that ‘infertility affects men and women’. This is not a blame game.
“Yet we know that in our societies that women bear the brunt of this problem and this can be the basis of sexual or physical abuse, divorce or isolation from family structure,” she said.
Infertility is a condition resulting from abnormal functioning on the reproductive system according to World Health Organisation.
Amai Mnangagwa also mentioned that in Africa and many under-developed nations, infections are the major causes of infertility.
“Traditional, cultural and religious practices combined with low resources can be catalysts for these conditions.
“Factors that include poor nutrition, untreated sexually transmitted infections, unsafe abortions, consequences of genital mutilation and exposure to smoking also promote infertility.
“Hence, both men and women are affected,” she said.
According to a study by Stancia Moyo of the University of Zimbabwe’s Centre for Population Studies says over 50 percent of infertility issues among the 10 percent of couples that experience such are a result of male infertility.