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.

For more information on HIV/AIDS and Reproductive health, please visit the following websites:

SOURCE: UNFPA

NORTH KIVU PROVINCE, Democratic Republic of the Congo – “Most of the women here have never had an ultrasound scan in their lives – even though on average they’ve already given birth more than five times,” said Charmante Sibamza, a midwife in Nyiragongo, in North Kivu province.

SOURCE: AllAfrica

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.

SOURCE: Premium Times

Mrs. Kennedy-Ohaneye says the women's affairs ministry is setting up cooperative societies to empower women.

SOURCE: Medicins Sans Frontiers

“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. 

SOURCE: UNFPA

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.

SOURCE: Daily Trust

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.

SOURCE: AllAfrica

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.

SOURCE: Nyasa Times

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.

SOURCE: Capital News

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.

SOURCE: Nigeria Health Watch

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.

Go to top