Chemicals used to produce plastics accounts for increased male reproductive disorders, including low sperm count, low libido, kidney stones and malformed penis, particularly among young people in the country.
That is because the chemicals mix up with water and food preserved in plastics, which when constantly consumed, affects the reproductive hormones.
An Urologist Consultant at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Dr Akisbadek Afoko, who revealed this, noted that male reproductive health had become a big problem among males, and should be given equal attention, just as female reproductive disorders, such as uterus and cervical cancers.
Speaking at the 20th Anniversary Conference and Awards ceremony of the Eminent West Africa Nobles Forum (WANF), held in Sogakope, in the Volta Region, last Friday, Dr Afoko called on the government to enact a legislation on the use of plastics, as well as intensify public education on the harmful effects of plastics on the health of humans.
He said “plastic pollution is something that is not just perceived but real. Just about everything we do now, plastic is involved, either to wrap our food or water in it. These plastics are not safe because they are not full grade plastics.”
He said plastics just like pesticides, herbicides, disinfectants and chemicals used in mining disrupts hormones, which were vital for basic functioning of the body, including reproduction.
Dr Afoko, who is also a Senior Lecturer at the University for Development Studies (UDS), lamented that babies as old as four, three and six months suffer from reproductive health disorders.
“As far as the male reproductive system is concerned, in Tamale, every week we operate not less than 10 children, who have defect in their male reproductive system. Lately, we are treating children with bloody urine, and when you check the urines, there are crystals in it,which can become stones,” he said.
Dr Afoko suggested that water should be stored in clay pots and metal tanks, such as steel tanks, and explained that aluminum and copper metal tanks should not be used as it contained toxic chemicals that could affect the hormonal systems.
Describing the use of plastics as a national concern, the President-General of WANF, Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, who was the Chairman for the event, said the Forum would engage the government and other relevant stakeholders on the issue.
However, he urged the nobles to be mindful of their health status “as they are made aware of the harmful effects of the use of plastics on health, and also educate others, especially the youth about the situation.”
Nana Dr Dankawoso I, entreated both old and newly inducted nobles to uphold the value of integrity and accountability, which was the hallmark of the forum.
The Executive Director of WANF, Dr Dee Otibu-Asare, urged individuals who assumed leadership roles to exhibit high level of integrity and stand by their words.
A total of ten eminent personalities were awarded with certificates and plaques for their contributions towards the socio-economic development in the West African sub-region, and also inducted into the WANF.