Gauteng MEC for Health calls for fertility treatment for all who need it
Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Bandile Masuku today opened Fertility Show Africa, the first dedicated fertility show held on the African continent.
“This is a milestone and ground-breaking event not only for Gauteng but for South Africa and Africa,” said Masuku who was previously the Head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit at the Thelle Mohoerane Regional Hospital in Vosloorus. He praised the show for opening an important dialogue around fertility, saying that access to fertility should not only be biased towards those who have money. Government should provide affordable treatment for infertility and this could be achieved in this county with National Health Insurance which, he said, seeks to realise universal health coverage for all South Africans.
Masuku said the province needed to build more public fertility centres – at present Gauteng only has one, with Pretoria’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital also serving patients from Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga. He also backed calls from the Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa for medical aids to pay for fertility treatments. He went on to say that Fertility Show Africa helped break cultural taboos surrounding infertility and that it had to be dealt with, not only medically and psychologically, but also culturally. He suggested that traditional healers also be included in future fertility shows. It is estimated that infertility in Africa affects one in six couples, which means that in Southern Africa alone there are eight million people who suffer from infertility. These include singles and same-sex couples as social norms change, and increasingly women who wish to postpone childbearing while they pursue a career and are therefore more likely to need help when they do eventually want to fall pregnant. The Fertility Show Africa takes place today and tomorrow at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.
FSA is supported by IFAASA (Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa) and SASREG (South African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy). Learn more at www.fertilityshowafrica.co.za