Concentrating efforts to end the stigma associated with infertility, the Merck Foundation, and fertility experts have called on the media to give wider coverage to fertility issues and provide a broader understanding of them.

The call was made during the Foundation’s virtual health media training organized on the sidelines of the 8th edition of the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, with Senator Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother, noting that women without children are often placed under pressure, and they usually suffer abuse, discrimination, and stigma from their husbands, in-laws, the community and the society.

Dr Kelej, who is also the co-chairperson of Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary, disclosed that the media training was meant to sensitize African and Latin American journalists in emphasizing the role the media plays in creating a cultural shift as well as in raising awareness on infertility prevention while empowering girls and women through education, changing the perspective of individuals towards the stigma around infertility.

According to her, 85 percent of infertility cases are due to untreated diseases that result from child marriage, female genital mutilation, abortion, unsafe delivery, and untreated sexually transmitted infections and all these can be prevented to reduce infertility.

The stigma associated with infertility can be psychologically challenging for victims and the campaign towards ending it will help provide a better understanding of the problem and how to deal with it.