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: Devex
Malawi has seen a lack of access to HIV services in some areas, a siloing of health care, and a hold on legislation as a result of U.S. global health assistance policies.

Source: Front Page Africa

Cervical Cancer accounts for more than 40 percent of all women suffering from cancer in the world and about two-thirds of cancer deaths. In Liberia, it is the most common cancer affecting women aged 15 – 44, says Joyce Killikpo, Executive Director of Public Health Initiative of Liberia, PHIL – a local non-for-profit organization working to curb the medical condition that remains a serious menace for women across the world.


Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
Dozens of HIV-positive South African women have been sterilised without consent or after being pressured to agree just before giving birth, sometimes being told while in pain on their way to the operating theatre, a report published on Monday found.

Source: Daily Monitor

Police officers and residents of Mbale Municipality have a reason to smile following the commissioning of a Shs500m maternity facility at Mbale Police Health Centre III.
The maternity ward, which was commissioned at the weekend by the Uganda Police Force medical team, donors and Mbale District local government, was constructed by World Vision Uganda in partnership with Health Initiatives in the Workplaces Activity (HIWA).

Source: Daily Nation 

The Global Fund — the agency that helps Kenya fight HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria — has given the country Sh42 billion to be used up to 2024.
The organisation’s suggestions to Kenya on how to improve the programmes are supported by experts.

Source: Premium Times

A new survey has shown that only 34 per cent of Nigerians use condoms for sex.
The survey, titled ‘Condom accessibility and use in Nigeria’ was carried out by NOIpolls, in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and AIDS HealthCare Foundation (AHF).

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation      

Ugandan doctors are giving new mothers artificial intelligence-enabled devices to remotely monitor their health in a first-of-its-kind study aiming to curb thousands of preventable maternal deaths across Africa, medics and developers said. 

Source: IPS News
Mbabane — When 14-year-old Nomcebo Mkhaliphi first noticed the blood discharged from her vagina, she was shocked. Confused, she turned to her older sisters for advice.

"My sisters told me that they were experiencing the same every month and that they used fabric, toilet paper and newspapers as sanitary wear," recalls the now 45-year-old Mkhaliphi. She had to follow suit and use these materials because she had no money to buy sanitary pads.

Source: The Herald
The world has been struggling with three problems which have been hampering developmental programmes in many countries, especially those in East and Southern Africa.

The three issues -- which are rates of maternal deaths, increased cases of gender-based violence and harmful practices, and failure to meet the family planning needs of countries -- have been a nagging headache keeping governments and development partners awake as they come pregnant with high costs.

Source: The Monitor
Employers and commercial building owners face a fine of up to Shs1 million (about UShs36 million) for failure to allocate breastfeeding spaces under a proposed law which seeks to give infants a two-year protection.

The Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of 2019 tabled in the National Assembly makes it compulsory for all persons who own, lease or rent buildings holding at least 50 people to provide a lactation room.

Source: World Bank
In developed countries, some women, especially young women, are increasingly complaining about the extreme medicalization of childbirth. Some decide that they do not want to know the sex of their child, while others choose to give birth at home, with a midwife and no epidural.

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