Beam Trustee
Beam Trustee Dingiswayo Jere briefs the Hournalist on the launch of Merck more than a mother in Lilongwe – Pic by Lisa Kadango

Lilongwe, July 12, 2019: A German based organization called Merck Foundation in collaboration with Beautify Malawi (BEAM) will jointly implement an initiative that seeks to break the silence associated with infertility issues.

The initiative is aimed at empowering men and women with infertility issues through the access to information, education, health and mind-set change

Addressing the Media in Lilongwe on Friday, Trustee for BEAM Dingiswayo Jere said the issue of infertility affects 15 per cent of the population in the country.

He added that the statistics could be higher because those recorded are only individuals that seek medical help.

Jere said the discrimination and stigma associated with infertility issues make it difficult for individuals facing the problem to speak out and seek medical attention.

“These issues need to be addressed from the grassroots by breaking traditional norms that make it difficult for affected individuals to speak out and seek medical health,” the Trustee said

He added that the stereotyping names that are given to women facing infertility issues were the root cause for affected individuals shying away from seeking medical attention and care.

‘’The stereotyping of women as the ones with medical issues when a family faces infertility has to be changed both men and women can be affected by infertility,” Jere explained.

He said the initiative sought to provide medical awareness to the affected and the nation on how they can access medical care and support.

Jere said Merck Foundation being a pharmaceutical company has done a research that has shown that 90 per cent of infertility cases are reversible with medical treatment and care.

“Medical conditions that cause infertility can be addressed and people affected should not accept that not having a child is their fate but they can seek medical attention and have children,” he advised.

The Trustee observed that through the initiative medical practitioners in the country will also be trained on how to assist individuals facing infertility issues.

Director for Administration in the Ministry of Health and Population, Benston Chisamile said the initiative would complement available policies and interventions in the ministry that tackle similar issues.

He said the Ministry appreciates initiatives such as the BEAM and Merck initiative, because conceited efforts from different stakeholders assist the Ministry to provide quality health care in the country.

“The initiative taken by BEAM and Merck especially training of health personnel will assist in providing medical care and assistance to individuals affected by infertility,” Chisamile noted.

The official launch of the initiative will take place on July 16,2019 and will be presided over by the First Lady Prof. Gertrude Mutharika who will  be unveiled as the Ambassador for the initiative in Malawi.