Ghanaians have been urged to be sensitive about fertility problems and to address maternity issues with all seriousness, as the journey to maternity is a very complicated one.
Mrs. Baaba Cofie, founder of Live, Move, Have your Being (LMB) – a Christian not-for-profit organization that provides support services for families (men and women) dealing with fertility and pregnancy-related challenges – made this statement during a presentation on the ‘Journey to Maternity’ at the recently held OBAASIMA summit, organised by MAPS leadership and held at the Tang Palace.
She stated that the journey to maternity is a very complicated one with a lot of challenges, including medical, socio-economic, psychological & professional issues among women going through fertility and maternity difficulties. Mrs. Baaba Cofie stated that nature has placed in every woman a womb which gives them the ability to conceive, and Ghanaian society places a duty on women to conceive immediately after marriage.
“Usually, society and some women place the responsibility of childbirth solely on themselves, so that when it does not happen there is a tendency to think the problem is with the women and never with the men. There is therefore a need for all of us to be well-educated on such fertility and maternity issues.”
Couples, especially women, facing fertility and maternity issues without support from their social networks can experience psychological problems – including breakdown, personality changes, hormonal imbalance which further aggravates the problem, sometimes leading to stagnation in life. “Women struggling with fertility issues without any support become unhappy, stressed and can sink into depression; hence the need to encourage one another.”
Mrs. Cofie further stated that adoption, which is one way of tackling infertility, although a viable option in Ghana is a difficult process. Honourable Cynthia Morrison, the Minister of Women and Children Affairs, also speaking at the event stated that the current status of the adoption process is laborious because government wants to protect children – as the adoption process in Ghana was initially porous and encouraged child-trafficking. “My ministry is going to look into the adoption process, and I will personally sit on the adoption committee to make sure all couples who are looking to adopt a child are physically, psychologically and emotionally capable of taking care of an adopted child,” Honorable Cynthia Morrison stated.
Mrs. Cofie also advocated for possible workplace policies such as access to psycho-therapy to help women going through fertility and maternity issues handle them better “Policies must be put in place to educate society and protect women experiencing fertility issues,” she said.
“I challenge all women to be Mmaasima; I congratulate all women who have conceived, the journey is not easy. I am sorry for those still struggling, we are all here to uplift each other,” Mrs. Baaba Cofie stated in her closing remarks.
The speakers for the premier OBAASIMA summit included Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, Former Minister of Education; Madam Esther Cobbah, CEO & Founder of Stratcomm Africa; Honourable Cynthia Morrison, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Madam Joyce Bawa Mogtari and Petra Asamoah, who shared their personal growth stories and encouraged the audience at the event to have the courage to chase their dreams and live to be women of integrity.
The OBAASIMA summit is an annual gathering of women designed to empower, equip, promote and propel women to live and pursue their dreams. It’s stage presentation, and seminar and panel discussion sessions are based on personal topics such as work-life, personal life experiences, volunteerism, Health and Lifestyle; Professional issues such as professional Development and capacity building, Financial Planning, Entrepreneurship, Travel and communication.