A public health expert, Dr. Dienye Briggs, has raised the alarm over the rise in infertility in men residing in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital due to high concentration of soot in the city’s atmosphere.
Briggs, who disclosed this on Friday while speaking at the ‘Stop The Soot’ Conference, organised by the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco, said the alarm followed a recent research carried out at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
He stated that the research showed that there were structural abnormally in the sperm cells of the majority of men living in Port Harcourt due to the soot particles in the atmosphere.
The public health expert, who spoke on the the topic: “Port Harcourt Soot and Its Implications”, confirmed that soot can cause infertility in men.
Briggs said: “A research done at the UPTH found out that majority of the males in Port Harcourt have structural abnormally, of course in their sperm cells. Of course, sperm is very much indicated in pregnancy.
“It is the sperm that will fertilise the egg in a woman to bring about pregnancy. If they are structurally abnormal, it means they lack the capacity to fertilise an egg. That means they cannot procreate.”
He stated that unborn children now suffer the consequences of the soot, calling for an end to the soot because of its implications on the health of residents of the Niger Delta region.
In her welcome address, Charter President of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco, Emem Okon, said the essence of the conference was for different organisations to strategise and engender holistic sustainable solutions to the soot challenge.
Okon said: “We are not looking at putting the blame on anybody. We are looking at different people, developing interests and finding their own solution to the challenge.
“We are looking at livelihood, economy, environment and education. We believe that addressing this problem does not require just one solution.”