An International Public Health Expert has cautioned that the legalisation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Queer Intersex (LGBTQI) rights in Ghana will increase sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Ghana.
Douglas Adu-Fokuo who was sharing his views on homosexuality on Dwaboase on Power FM stated not only will STIs such as HIV/AIDs soar but also noted the effects will put much burden on the country’s health sector as well as its revenue.
Issues of LGBT rights have inundated conversations on social and mainstream media in the last few days, after the European Union (EU) in Ghana confirmed it participated in the opening of the group, LGBT+ Rights Ghana, on January 31, 2021.
The EU said it also supported its fundraiser to officially introduce and promote its office and community space in the country, notwithstanding the fact that it is a criminal activity in Ghana.
But joining many Ghanaians who have kicked against legalising activities of LGBT rights, Adu-Fokuo said Ghana, a developing country, ought to exercise caution in handling the matter since HIV/AIDS will escalate among the youth who are a rich human resource of the country.
“I had an encouter with the Australian High Commissioner who is reported to have supported the group in the country. You know, among all the Ambassadors in the country he is one person Ghanaians love because he loves our culture and promotes it on social media. He told me that they were not imposing it on us,” Adu Fokuo told host Kwame Minkah as he made a strong case for LGBT rights to be banned.
“Those who engage in these acts usually target the young ones and because most of them have STIs, they tend to negatively destroy the moral fibre of the society and also end up spreading many infections, particularly syphilis,” he disclosed.
He referred to several researches that had pointed to the fact that lesbianism and gayism spread STIs easily and faster.
For instance, in 2015, a research by WHO which was published in 2017 indicated there were 25.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in sub-Saharan Africa. This represented 67% of the total number of people living with the virus in the world yet at the time Africa contributed to only 15% of the world’s population.
Certain population groups such as injection drug users, sex workers and their clients, and men who have sex with men were identified as people at higher risk of HIV.
In fact, studies report high levels of HIV infection (15–20% of new HIV infections) among men who have sex with men in many African countries, according to Lowndes et al., 2008; Smith, Tapsoba, Peshu, Sanders, & Jaffe, 2009.
Again, Beyrer et al. (2010) estimated that men who have sex with men in Africa were 3.8 times more likely to be HIV positive than men in the general population.
Adu-Fokuo went on to argue that gayism and lesbianism “should not be seen as individuals’ preference to sexual desires” but be addressed as a national and global concern.
Throwing more light on the effects LGBT rights will have on the human resource of the country and the economy, he said Ghana would not be able to deal with a dwindling birth rate when homosexuality becomes a norm in the country regarded as a developing nation.
“The west has advanced technology to replace human resources if they continuously record low birth rate. Already most of the developed countries like Japan, USA, China and the likes, have enough population and advanced technology to meet their target productivity and GDP. However, the situation is different in developing countries like Ghana,” he said.
Adu-Fokuo further warned the international organizations “not to impose gayism and lesbianism on Africa via treaties or sanctions.”
“They must look at the future negative effects on our health and economy, if indeed they care about Africa,” he added.