First Lady Monica Chakwera has expressed worry over levels of stigma perpetrated towards women who are suffering from infertility in the country.
She said, for years, failure to have children and raise a family has exposed women to various forms of abuse and discrimination, with men living in denial on the possibility of having the problem too.
Speaking in Lilongwe Wednesday, Chakwera said, in an effort to address the problem of stigma, her office had, with support from the Merck Foundation, provided 21 scholarships to medical professionals, two of them are specialising in infertility.
She said this when she attended a virtual conference for the Merck Foundation First Ladies initiative.
“We have made history together by providing training for the first fertility specialists in Malawi. Two doctors have, so far, completed the fertility training programme…I also continue to work in collaboration with our ministries in sensitising community members to understand infertility and, as a result, break the stigma and, most importantly, empower women through access to information, education, health and change of mindset,” she said
Through the scholarships, Chakwera said her office was committed to enhancing healthcare capacity and ensuring quality health service delivery through training of personnel in various medical specialties.
On his part, Chairperson for the Board of Trustees for Merck Foundation Frank Stangenberg- Haverkamp said they were committed to transforming lives of African girls and women through access to information, education and health.
The First Lady will, in her capacity as Malawi’s ambassador for ‘more than a mother initiative’, attend a similar conference in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, in November 2022.