The maternal mortality ratio is unacceptably high in Africa. Forty per cent of all pregnancy-related deaths worldwide occur in Africa. On average, over 7 women die per 1,000 live births. About 22,000 African women die each year from unsafe abortion, reflecting a high unmet need for contraception. Contraceptive use among women in union varies from 50 per cent in the southern sub-region to less than 10 per cent in middle and western Africa" UNFPA
Early and unwanted childbearing, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pregnancy-related illnesses and deaths account for a significant proportion of the burden of illness experienced by women in Africa. Gender-based violence is an influential factor negatively impacting on the sexual and reproductive health of one in every three women. Many are unable to control decisions to have sex or to negotiate safer sexual practices, placing them at great risk of disease and health complications.
According to UNAIDS, there is an estimated of 22.2 million people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan African in 2009, which represents 68% of the global HIV burden. Women are at higher risk than men to be infected by HIV, their vulnerability remains particulary high in the Sub-Saharan Africa and 76% of all HIV women in the world live in this region.
In almost all countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, the majority of people living with HIV are women, especially girls and women aged between 15-24. Not only are women more likely to become infected, they are more severely affected. Their income is likely to fall if an adult man loses his job and dies. Since formal support to women are very limited, they may have to give up some income-genrating activities or sacrifice school to take care of the sick relatives.
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Access to birth control, which empowers women with the agency to decide if, when, and how many children to bear, is a fundamental human right.
Mrs. Kennedy-Ohaneye says the women's affairs ministry is setting up cooperative societies to empower women.
“When I went into labor, I started making my way to the nearest health center, but then I felt one of my two babies coming, so I spread my clothes under a mango tree and gave birth on my own,” says Musa Yahyah, an Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) patient in Sierra Leone.
BURUNTUMA, Guinea-Bissau – “In all four of my deliveries I had a hemorrhage,” said 39-year-old Djenabu Sano, reflecting on the consequences of female genital mutilation on the births of her children.
Medical professionals have called on the federal government to take urgent action to cut down the rising number of women and babies dying due to complications during childbirth.
The mental health of pregnant women in Zambia, like in much of Africa, is often overlooked. But it's important to diagnose postpartum depression for the health of both the mother and the child.
Medical experts are sounding an alarm following revelations that nearly 3,000 women in the country die due to cervical cancer every year, putting the country at the highest cervical cancer prevalence rate in the world.
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29- United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has launched ‘Oky Kenya’, an adapted version of the world’s first-period tracker offline app, specifically designed for girls living in low- and middle-income countries like Kenya.
Access to family planning (FP) services empowers women and girls by enabling them to have agency over their bodies. They can better plan a pregnancy and make more informed decisions about childbirth, allowing them to chart the course of their future according to their desires and ambitions.
More needs to be done for Tanzania and the rest of the world to end the Aids public health threat by 2030, a newly launched global HIV/Aids report shows.
Although Tanzania has had a positive impact in fighting HIV/Aids, the new report reveals that the key populations in the country still lag behind when it comes to testing and treatment. Launched in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, the new report titled ‘Dangerous inequalities’ shows early testing, prevention and treatment measures have slowed down, hence Aids-related deaths and new HIV/Aids cases are rising.
Available data shows there are over 4.9 million people living with HIV/Aids in Tanzania while only 1.3 million are on treatment. According to UNAIDS data, Tanzania has over the past ten 10 years consistently reduced new HIV infections and reduced Aids-related deaths by 46.6 percent and 50 percent respectively. Prof Tumaini Nagu, Tanzania’s Chief Medical Officer, noted that although the country has made progress, more needs to be done since with the new report findings, it is evident that some key populations — including adolescence girls — have been left behind.
"50 percent is a good progress but we haven't really made progress when it comes to adolescent girls, which is actually what our strategic health plan requires us to do. That is why we are currently targeting them together with other groups such as migrants, fisheries, people living in rural areas for we cannot fight the epidemic disease with one-size-fits-all kind of solution," she said.
On her part, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids, (UNAIDS), commended Dodoma’s efforts in the fight against HIV/Aids. “Tanzania is the leader, a strong performer in the fight against this disease. The country has succeeded in reducing new infections by almost 50 percent and successful treatment scale up has led to over 50 percent reduction in the number of Aids-related deaths,” said Ms Byanyima.
“The world is not on track to end the Aids pandemic. New infections are rising and Aids deaths are continuing in too many communities. Inequalities are holding us back,” added Ms Byabyima. The report shows that gender inequalities, inequalities faced by key populations and inequalities between children and adults have had negative impacts on Aids response by countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are three times more likely to get HIV than their male counterparts, according to the report.
“The world will not be able to defeat Aids while reinforcing patriarchy. We need to address theintersecting inequalities women face. The only effective route map to ending Aids, achieving the sustainable development goals and ensuring health, rights and shared prosperity, is a feminist route map. Women’s rights organisations and movements are already on the frontline doing this bold work. Leaders need to support them and learn from them,” added Ms Byabyima