When the Covid-19 pandemic struck the world, it shattered lives and disrupted the economic activities and livelihoods of many people, particularly the marginalized.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the manufacturing of vaccination to help protect lives. However, the vaccine had its own set of problems, as some people refused to have their jab because there were stories around that the vaccine could cause erectile dysfunction in men.
Following the World Health Organization (WHO) statement that COVID-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), the Ghana Health Service (GHS) lifted the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on travelers.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), stated that COVID-19 cases in the country have been steadily declining over the last five months.
He disclosed that as of May 15, 2023, there were only 18 active cases, none of which were severe, and that there had been only one COVID-19 death in 2023.
“As of May 10, 2023, more than 13.5 million persons had received at least a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 10.5 million persons were fully vaccinated. Additionally, 4.5 million persons have taken vaccine boosters,” he said.
Can Covid-19 Cause Erectile Dysfunction As Some People Believe?
Dr. Hilarious A.K Abiwu, Deputy Director of Public Health Directorate ,Northern Region
Mr. Abdulai Alhassan, 58, of Singa in the Kumbungu district of the Northern region, says he declined the Covid-19 vaccination due to reports that the vaccine causes erectile dysfunction.
“Some people said that if you get the Covid-19 shot, you won’t be able to perform in bed as a man or give birth.”
According to him, it required a lot of pressure from the area’s assemblyman and several health professionals to persuade some of them to get their vaccinations.
He stated that he felt no soreness or anything relating to his manhood after receiving the jab.
“Months after receiving my vaccination, I carried out my manly duties as expected, and as you can see, this is my baby after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. Our second child is currently one year old, thus the report was false.”
Amuhira Alhassan, Alhassan’s 35-year-old wife, confirmed to DGN Online that her husband never experienced erectile dysfunction after receiving the vaccine and that they have since had two children.
“I can confidently say that the vaccine rumor is not true because we have already had two children even after taking the vaccine and my husband performs his manly duties as expected, which is why I don’t believe the rumor.”
In an interview with DGN Online, Dr. Hilarious A.K Abiwu, Deputy Director of the Public Health Directorate in the Northern Region, characterized the controversy surrounding misinformation that the Covid-19 vaccine causes erectile dysfunction as mere guesswork and misconceptions.
“There was a lot of anxiety in the run-up to the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccines because this is one of the first times the scientific community has developed a vaccine in such a short period, and there were questions as to whether these vaccines are safe and whether people could trust that it will do what it was developed to do, and so there were speculations that men who take the vaccines may become impotent, which is completely false.”
According to him, no data on vaccination adverse effects, such as erectile dysfunction, was accessible.
He stated that speculation about the potential effects of the vaccines affected their distribution within the region, but was quick to add that the Ghana Health Service adopted a strategy of educating community members as well as using persons who had taken the vaccines without experiencing any side effects as proof, which convinced other community members to seek their vaccines.
“Those who received the vaccines, particularly men, realized after a while that they were not impotent, and they were used as champions to educate other people that the rumors about erectile dysfunction were false.”
According to the Deputy Director of the Public Health Directorate in the Northern region, despite initial challenges with the intake of the covid-19 vaccine, the region has been the most vaccinated region, with about 80 percent of the total eligible population and 90% received at least the first dose of covid-19 vaccination.
Dr. Abiwu told Ghanaians that the covid-19 vaccinations are safe and that any vaccines obtained from the Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health, and Food and Drugs Authorities have been thoroughly tested and certified for Ghanaians’ safety.
“ If vaccines come through the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health, and the Food and Drugs Authorities you can be sure that checks and balances will be in place to make sure that the items which we give to Ghanaians are safe. I can assure you that once it’s something coming from the health system then we have done a careful analysis of its benefits is has for Ghanaians.“
Back to the Singa community in the Kumbungu district of the Northern region, Mr. Alhassan urged community members who had not yet received their covid-19 vaccinations to do so and continue to follow covid-19 protocols even though the World Health Organization declared covid-19 to be no longer a Public Health Emergency.
“I will encourage everyone to get the vaccine because it does not cause any health problems as has been suggested.”
He further indicated that the covid-19 vaccination doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction, citing the birth of his two children during the pandemic era when he was taking the vaccine as evidence.
28-year-old Shawana Yussif, from Tamale in the Northern region, still believes covid-19 exists and that the environment is not completely safe.
“Especially in crowded places, I always mask up because I feel if someone is carrying the virus and is in a bus or a crowded environment it won’t be safe for me and so I will always continue to adhere to the covid-19 protocols.”