Author: Emelia Naa Ayeley Aryee || Freelance Journalist

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The state of being childless has the tendency to plunge couples – women especially, into various susceptible situations in a bid to escape societal stigma.

They are mocked by family, humiliated by society and traditions, and taken advantage of and exploited by all manner of people, including men perceived to be called by God, men who have the mandate to care for and protect those who flock to them for spiritual help.

This is the story of a 48-year-old woman, who, for condition of anonymity, would be called Auntie Naa in this article.

Prophet lures her to have his way

Auntie Naa had gone to a ‘man of God’ in Mamprobi, a suburb of Accra, to seek spiritual solution to her problem to help her conceive. She found no solution, and the ‘man of God’ aggravated her situation by trying to take advantage of her already troubled mind and body to sleep with her.

Speaking in an interview with journalist and gender advocate, Emelia Naa Ayeley Aryee, Auntie Naa revealed that following a recommendation by one of her friends, she decided to try that particular prophet (name withheld), after previously trying some others with no desired results.

There is a special church programme organised only on Tuesdays for people with various troubles to attend. After the main event, selected ones are invited to meet with the prophet face to face with the assurance that by doing so, the prophet gets to know them more closely so that solution will come easily and faster.

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It was during one of the ‘special’ counselling sessions that the prophet told Auntie Naa that she was beautiful, and that only after he had slept with her would she be able to conceive. Auntie Naa, however, rejected the offer notwithstanding the cajoling and promises the prophet made to her.

“When I went to see him on one of the days, he told me that I was nice. He said he wanted to sleep with me. He said God told him that if he sleeps with me, I will be able to get pregnant. But I told him that I can’t do it. If I do it, God will not even listen to my prayers anymore,” Auntie Naa disclosed.

According to her, the prophet kept persuading her to have his way but she remained resolute in her decision never to have anything doing any other man apart from her husband, let alone a ‘man of God’.

Kindly fast-forward to the 20th minute of this video to watch Auntie Naa share her story:

More Pastors try to take advantage of woman struggling with infertility stigma

Aside from the Mamprobi ‘unholy’ prophet, Auntie Naa had fallen prey to several other ‘men of God’, who either want to have a feel of her body or find ways to take the little money she had left on her. For she had been hoping from one ‘man of God’ to the other seeking help.

She had travelled near and far visiting forests and mountains to join prayer teams to make supplications to God to intervene for her to have even a single child. In all these, she had been tempted to either part with money or offer her body in exchange of a baby.

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Her case is just one of the many of women who are desperate to have a child because some members of the society would not let them rest without constantly reminding them of their childlessness.

Financial muscles required for infertility treatment

Treatment of infertility in Ghana requires money, so much money to start treatment and to keep one consistent until one reaches her goal.

However, most of them, like Auntie Naa, lose their zeal along the line and give up because they no longer have money to continue with the treatment.

This is why Auntie Naa and other women with similar story resort to unapproved herbal treatment for their infertility instead of visiting a specialist hospital for treatment and cure. She had spent fortunes on these herbal hospitals and their medications but with no success.

What makes her situation extremely painful is the fact that she had been pregnant for six (6) solid times but miscarried them all. Sadly, she listened and paid attention to unsolicited counsels by persons who are not professionals, who asked her not to go to the hospital because what was happening to her was more spiritual than medical.

Therefore, never for once did she visit the hospital to ascertain what the cause of the reoccurring miscarriages was until when she turned 46 years.

It was during a medical outreach programme by a medical team in her area that she was told she had issues with her uterus making it hard for it to hold a baby to full term – reason for her uncontrolled miscarriages.

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Perhaps, if she had visited the hospital when the first and second miscarriages started, she would have found solution and kept the subsequent pregnancies.

What society ought to do

Despite all the financial, emotional and psychological battles she was having for not being able to have a child, society added stigma to make her situation worse.

She is being called names, she faces constant ridicules instead of being supported or assisted to see a medical doctor, and she is referred to as one “without anything to think about”.

Instead of the mockery, society should rather encourage her, and make her feel that she is still a precious woman who deserves to live a happy life with or without a child, and her human dignity must be upheld!

Members of society should also encourage women struggling with childbirth to visit the hospitals rather than dissuading them from doing so and prescribing their own medications which are unapproved.

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