The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr. Roland Affail Monney has urged the media to rally behind the campaign to educate Ghanaians against stigmatizing reports.
In his words, the media should propagate the fight against stigmatisation, which was damaging society and making innocent people suffer. The GJA President gave this charge when he interacted with the media at a day's training workshop for Health Reporters in Accra.
The objective of the training was to equip health journalists in understanding infertility issues in African communities, learn the best media practices in raising awareness by following international standards of reporting and media ethics. It was organised by the Merck Foundation with support from the GJA and the First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo.
On the media's role in fighting Stigmatization, Mr. Monney noted that the media had a core duty to create awareness that infertility was not a crime hence women who could not bore their own children should not be detached from society but should be shown love and care.
A Fertility Doctor at the Lister Hospital, who doubles as President of Fertility Society of Ghana, Dr. Edem Hiadzi reiterated that infertility should not be stigmatized as it was not only an issue for the female but for male too.
He pointed out that children are a gift from God and not created by women. Therefore women should not be stigmatized when they are unable to deliver since some of the causes could be a male-factor.
According to Dr. Hiadzi, infertility was health-related and there are a lot of things that could be attributed to this cause without having to stigmatize women, making it difficult for them to gain some respect and support from their society.
He said many a time, infertility could be managed and prevented if husbands supported their wives, if husbands decided to get tested with their wives, eat and exercise well and quit certain habits like alcohol and smoking.
The GJA Vice President, Mrs. Linda Asante-Agyei called on the media to ensure that their reportage was always fair and objective, devoid of any personal sentiments so that the truth would always stand and the public could make their own judgement.
She commended the Merck Foundation for the initiative and appealed for more training for health reporters so they would be able to understand the issues in order to report well.