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: Plus News
The Kenyan government is taking steps to incorporate screening for cervical cancer - one of the biggest killers of women of child-bearing age - into HIV care, but health workers say low awareness means the uptake of this vital service is low.

Source: IPS
When Valente Inziku's wife, Jennifer Anguko, went into labour they had decided she would go to the local referral hospital just to ensure a safe delivery.

Source: IPS

Mother of eight, Jessicah Foni, 36, hopes that independence will mean a hospital will soon be built in her village.

Source: All Africa
For Nigeria to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) government must take the issue of family planning and child spacing with all seriouness.

Source:The East African
Sophia Waithera, a 22-year- old mother has given birth to a bouncing baby girl at Jahmii Kipawa Medical Centre deep in Nairobi's sprawling Korogocho slum.

Source: IRIN
Poorly-regulated, privately-run training schools in Senegal are churning out midwives who do not have a solid grasp of birthing or ante- and post-natal care, causing women and babies to die needlessly,

Source: IPS Africa
When the monthly contraceptive injection that Bernadette Asiimwe, a mother of four, got from government health centres in western Uganda was out of stock for weeks she fell pregnant with her fifth child.

Source: IRIN
Poorly-regulated, privately-run training schools in Senegal are churning out midwives who do not have a solid grasp of birthing or ante- and post-natal care, causing women and babies to die needlessly, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Source: Plus News
In theory, it should go something like this: pregnant woman tests HIV-positive as part of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) services at her antenatal clinic

Source: Plus News
At Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital (PMMH) in Umlazi, the largest township outside the South African port city of Durban, using midwives to provide maternity services has positively impacted maternal care in the area

Source: Womens Enews
Rape continues to be the most frequently reported serious crime in Liberia. A new multipronged approach is underway to reduce sexual and gender-based violence.

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