Women call for government intervention to get children

A group of childless women from Thika town are appealing to the government to come to their rescue and create a fund that can help them access In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technology that will help them conceive.

Led by their Chairlady, Esther Wanjiku, the 15 members who form the Elohim Women Group called on the country’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta to intervene and salvage their predicament by forming a kitty that will rescue millions of childless women who are suffering in silence.

The Chairlady said that the new technology has been proved to be 90% efficient but was very expensive and very few childless couples can afford it.

The technology is locally available at 400,000 shillings for twins but none of us can afford it, she said.

Wanjiku who was speaking to KNA in Thika revealed that childlessness is extremely stigmatizing and this time around they have decided to shake off the stigma and seek for public help.

Our government has intervened in Fistula cases, the famous free maternity services, and HIV/AIDS treatment we are appealing for the First Lady to listen to our cry and help us overcome our predicament, lamented Wanjiku.

According to a Thika based gynecologist who sought anonymity, IVF is a process where an egg is combined with a sperm outside the body, allowed to grow for a maximum of six days then implanted into the woman’s womb.

The process involves monitoring and stimulating a woman’s ovulation process by removing an ovum from the woman’s ovaries and letting the sperm fertilize it in a laboratory, he revealed.

The fertilized egg is cultured for two to six days in a test-tube, before it is transferred to the woman’s uterus to start the germination process.

In our local hospitals a woman can spend between 400,000 and 800,000 for the process and in most cases the embryo implanted begets twins, revealed the doctor.

Narrating her long journey in search of a child, Wanjiku said she has been married for 18 years and she has done everything doable to get a child, having visited several gynecologists, sought divine intervention and even went to the infamous loliondo witchdoctor in Tanzania all in search of a baby without any success.

My marriage has been a nightmare, I get ridiculed by my in-laws, friends and relatives and most of my friends cannot even allow me near their children, saying that I might poison them, revealed Wanjiku.

Teresia Wanjiku, 50, another member of the group revealed that she has undergone two major surgeries without any success, adding that her 16 year old marriage to a man of the collar disintegrated three years ago after in-laws pressed upon her husband to take in another woman.

African culture is so unforgiving to a childless woman the society is mean and judgmental, I have lost three friends who committed suicide after they failed to get children and they got mistreated by loved ones, revealed Teresia.

Nancy Wangari from Kiganjo Estate narrated how despite spending over 500,000 shillings and undergoing four surgeries to unblock her fallopian tubes she still could not conceive.

Wangari said that she has been married for 14 years and that her greatest support has been her husband who stood with her despite her condition. He has, however, now given up and they were now in the process of getting a divorce.

She said that the group has served as a unifying factor as they have been able to share their predicament and thy even call counselors to their meetings who strengthen their resilience in the fight against bareness.

The youngest in the group, Gladys Kamene, 34 who operates a salon has been married for the last eight years without a child, also narrated how she has met seven different doctors without any success.

My marriage is undergoing major storms, my husband has been involved in a lot of extra marital affairs but I cannot stop him because I know what he is looking for I am unable to give him, she said amidst sobs, adding she drained all her savings trying to get professional help in vain.

Two months ago I met a certain gynecologist in Nairobi who told me about IVF and he informed me that he has already successfully implanted 40 babies to 20 women and the list is still growing, the price is, however, prohibitive. I have nothing left to sell, we are therefore appealing to well wishers to come to our rescue, she concluded.

Source: Kenya News Agency