BY PHILIP ANTOH | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FOUNDER of Lurel Women Health Foundation and public health nurse at Adabraka Polyclinic, Mrs Cindy Ofori-Appiah, has said many Ghanaian women do not regard medical advice in relation to their health but rather turn to believe advice from pastors.
Mrs Ofori-Appiah said at least 70% of women in the church today are praying and fasting as a result of infertility, a situation she said may have been avoided if they had earlier listened to medical advice.
She said there are certain diseases such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other medical conditions, when discovered earlier, health professional will advise you to have babies at the early stage but the women, because of church norms, will rather wait to have grand weddings and social status before.
“Many times, before they will achieve all these things before getting marriage, their medical condition would have deteriorated and resulted in their inability to give birth, hence using the church as a refuge,” Mrs Ofori-Appiah said.
She made these statements last weekend at the Wocom Health Conference organised by the Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRSAG), University of Ghana chapter, where Mrs Ofori-Appiah advised the young women to always listen to medical advice.
“Even though religious issues are important in our lives, we must not ignore our health matters for religion because there are certain issues that are purely health-related,” he advised.
Speaking on the theme ‘Knowing Your Reproductive System,’ Mrs Ofori-Appiah said many women in the country do not know their medical record or menstrual cycle, hence when something is going wrong they cannot detect it.
According to her, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which there is an increased male hormone in woman, which affects the eggs and consequently leads to barrenness.
She said the condition affects women at puberty level – that is the first period of menstruation to the ages of 45-50 years because many people are not aware of the disease.
Mrs Ofori-Appiah said the World Health Organisation revealed in its 2012 report that the condition affects 116 million women globally, meaning it has increased from affecting 9% of women in 2012 to18% currently but added that many Ghanaians are dying of the disease unknowingly.
She encouraged women suffering from the disease to boldly come out to talk about it because the condition is manageable.
The Women Commissioner of GRSAG, Mrs Grace Opare, said the programme is aimed at empowering women to know their health conditions such as PCOS, breast cancer and other issues relating to women health.
Mrs Opare advised the women to always adopt routine checkups to know issues affecting their health.
Speakers at the events included Mrs Afua Amoateng, a midwife in charge of Maternal and Baby Health and lecturer; Ms Grace Anim from Breast Cancer International, Mrs Cindy Ofori-Appiah, founder of Lurel Women Health Foundation and the Assemblywoman for Legon Electoral Area and also PhD student in public health.
Some of the women with PCOS expressed their excitement for knowing well that there are a Foundation out there which are seeking their welfare and called on others to seek medical attention.