A group of Ghanaian doctors researched into the problems of impotence or sexual dysfunction affecting many Ghanaians abroad. This research was carried out in 2013 and published on the Newsinfo website. According to the doctors, there are both physical and emotional factors behind the problem. The report stated that about 40% of Ghanaian men living abroad have experienced some erectile dysfunction. The problem, according to them, results mainly from the lifestyle and the nature of work Ghanaians do. It is more intense among Ghanaians living in Southern European countries like Italy, Greece and Spain, where many of them work at construction sites where they carry and arrange heavy slabs and iron rods for building. These Ghanaians work eight to ten hours a day. Within a year or two, this tedious work affects their waists bones, which consequently puts their manhood in permanent prison never to resurrect again.
This reminds me of a funny audio making the WhatsApp rounds of four Ghanaian women abroad who met to pray that God should give them better male sexual partners. Among their requests were males with strong and hard erections, the type that is so hard that if you put a baby on top, it won’t bend. They also prayed to God not to give them Ghanaian men abroad who have spent their lives at several hard jobs until their waist bones are bent or broken: “Wonmo sisi akyea”. As a result they can’t do anything after a long day at work. Such men come home from work in the evening, finish eating and begin to sleep in front of the television. When they get to bed, they are tired and can’t do anything but have to wake up very early to go to work again.
Some men hide their impotence at the incipient stage from their wives. They return home very late from work, get themselves busy cleaning the hall, washing dishes and toilets until they are sure the women are fast asleep. They then get to bed quietly. These men are the first to wake up and go to work.
This article discusses the factors that contribute to impotence. However, it is important to indicate that the problems are not unique to Ghanaians alone. It may be all poor people forced to do heavy work abroad. It may also affect white people who do such jobs.
Impotence is a condition that affects a man’s ability to achieve or maintain erection. The man is unable to penetrate the female during the sexual act. This dampens the sexual drive. Those who drive articulators and big trucks have experienced sexual weakness leading to impotence after years of driving from one country to the other. The same thing applies to long distance cyclists.
The doctors, in their research, interviewed ten prophets and pastors, ten herbal practitioners, and ten Muslim herbalists and spiritualists in Ghana. They all confirmed separately that not less than fifty Ghanaians living abroad have either called them or come to them personally with their sexual weakness and problems of impotence.
Apart from impotence caused by excessive drinking of strong alcoholic beverages by many Ghanaians abroad, there are generally other common causes of impotence. This is a subject many Ghanaians are hesitant to discuss. According to the study, about 31% of Ghanaians living abroad are depressed due to sexual dysfunction. Many are unable to cope with their impotence and those who are unable to stand the embarrassment and depression, may even commit suicide.
This is more so when Ghanaians want to live up to their reputations in Europe. There is a general and ill-conceived belief that black people are more potent than whites. They have harder erections which they can hold longer than white men. White women who have had black men attest to this. But there is no study confirming it. Some people think it is due to the cold. The loss of a black man’s potency in Europe is a very traumatic event.
Over-dependence on sex enhancing products has also been identified as one of the causes of sexual weakness or impotence.
The percentage of Ghanaians abroad suffering from erectile dysfunction may be more or expected to increase because, according to the doctors, many sufferers will not want to admit to the problem and share it with others because it is embarrassing, especially for macho Ghanaian men. Those who take sex enhancement drugs and develop sexual weakness problems often hide this fact even from their doctors.
Certain diseases like piles, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, if not properly controlled, can lead to acute erectile dysfunction. Dependence and constant use of certain prescription drugs can cause erectile dysfunction. There is a class of high pressure drugs that can cause sexual dysfunction in a small percentage of users. These are, however, normally prescribed more to women than to men. More than two hundred prescription and non-prescription drugs are known to affect the erectile function in men. Certain drugs that work directly on the nervous system easily create organic impotence. These are anti-depressant drugs, medicines used to treat high blood pressure, those used to treat neurological disorders like Parkinson disease, medications used to treat gastrointestinal ailments and also those used to treat allergies. Those Ghanaians abroad who are addicted to strong alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and marijuana are automatic candidates for impotence.
The medical research group sampled at random hundred Ghanaians in four different countries abroad to complete a questionnaire. 45% admitted sexual dysfunction and 30% had low sperm count and 60% of those who filled the questionnaire affirmed that they have once used sex enhancing drugs. Five men between 21 and 25 years were among those who declared impotence.
Sexual dysfunction or impotence is an important public health problem that compromises the overall quality of life of the patients and their partners. This often leads to loss of emotional and physical intimacy which very often leads to divorce.
Research to find out where and how Ghanaians with sexual dysfunction sought cure for their problems was conducted among Ghanaians living in U.S.A and Canada. Five hundred and fifty Ghanaians in the United States of America and Canada, who had sexual weakness problems, were asked how they sought help for their problems. Almost all of them said they sought for help from traditional herbal practitioners in Ghana. These herbalists who advertised on FM stations in Ghana had special phone numbers for Ghanaians living abroad to call and have their medicines posted to them. The interviews were made possible thanks to the active cooperation of the executive members of the various Ghana unions in the main Toronto area and New York.
This article talks about Ghanaians abroad, but those with problem of impotence are not alone. There are many Ghanaian women who have diverse sexual problems including sterility. Regular body exercise is very important because it precipitates effective blood flow to all parts of the body for as we say in Latin, mens sana i corpore sano (A healthy mind is in a healthy body).
By Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads