Infertility 'a major problem in Nigeria'
Infertility in Nigeria can have serious consequences for affected women, a new report has indicated.
According to Marida Hollos, an anthropologist at Brown University, US, there is "a basic necessity" for females to have a child in some regions of the country. Failure to do so can result in being ostracised from certain aspects of society, have detrimental impacts on a woman's self respect and determine a lack of burial rights, according to a report published in Social Science and Medicine. Dr Hollos reveals that in Amakiri in Delta State, infertile women often become homeless in later life because they have no legal right to reside in the home of their deceased husband unless a son has been born. She says infertility often leads to divorce in this community – and in others such as Lopon in Cross River State – since the primary purpose of marriage is seen as being to replenish the lineage of a family. Dr Hollos says infertility is "a major, life-altering problem" in sub-Saharan Africa – one that needs to be mitigated through family support and government education programmes. According to Infertility Network UK, the issue is a common one, with one in six couples in the developed world seeking specialist help in an attempt to conceive.