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: The Guardian

In a country where one in four women have a child by 19, and health workers offering birth control have been met by men with machetes, confronting myths about contraception is vital.

A woman lies on her back, a one-year-old straddling her. One hand is over her eyes, the other held out. A nurse gently inserts a small white strip of contraceptive implant into her upper arm while her baby plays on her. They beckon me in. Privacy hardly seems to be an issue here.

Source: Gender Links

Johannesburg, 27 September 2018: On 28 September, International Day of Safe Abortion, organisations across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will join hands to demand safe abortion for women as part of a broader “voice and choice” campaign.

Gender Links, SAFAIDS and the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance will launch a campaign for access to services in South Africa and Mozambique (the only two countries in the region where abortion is legal) and decriminalisation of abortion in the 13 other countries in the region.

Source: AllAfrica

A Public Health Scientist, Suzanne Bell on Thursday said the abortion rate by women of reproductive age in Nigeria has risen between 1.8 and 2.7 million.

Mrs Bell, who made the disclosure at a dissemination exercise of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA 2020) in Abuja, said that the rise was as a result of unintended pregnancies.

Source: Metro

Girls in Kenya are forced to have sex with older men because it is the only way they can access sanitary products due to period poverty and the stigma surrounding menstruation. Research by Unicef has found that 65% of females in the Kibera slum, the largest urban slum in Africa, had traded sex for the sanitary products. The charity also found that 54% of Kenyan girls said they had problems accessing feminine hygiene products and 22% of school girls are having to buy their own.

Source: The East African

President John Magufuli has urged Tanzanian women to "give up contraceptive methods" insisting his country needs more people, local media reported Monday.

"You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control? This is my opinion, I see no reason to control births in Tanzania," Magufuli said in a speech on Sunday, according to The Citizen daily newspaper.

Source: AllAfrica

The national rollout of free Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Kenya has been pushed to next year due to what an official termed high demand from countries across the globe.

Source: Reuters

Burundi’s rollback on banning pregnant girls and expectant teen fathers from attending school is a victory for child rights, but steps must be taken to curb sexual exploitation and teen pregnancies, campaigners said on Tuesday. Burundi’s education ministry on Friday reversed a month-old policy under which pregnant teens and young mothers, as well as the boys who made them pregnant, no longer had the right to be part of the formal education system.

Source: AllAfrica

Authorities in Malawi have expressed optimism that a new Termination of Pregnancy law will be enacted once Cabinet ministers complete reviewing recommendations which the Law Commission submitted.Speaking during a media workshop on abortion law reform, Ministry of Health Spokesperson Joshua Malango said the sequence was that after the Cabinet scrutinises the recommendations, the bill would be tabled in Parliament.

Source: WHO

 “There were no signs that the morning of 31 May 2018 would be different until I started feeling the pangs, requiring medical assistance,” said Naomi Muyadeen. "Initially, I dreaded going to the government facility but stepping into the health facility, I immediately noticed the change.”

Source: allAfrica

ADDIS ABABA - Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Services, a three-year project that focuses on building resilience through universal access to sexual reproductive health in Somali state, was officially launched last week.

Source: allAfrica

Kaduna — According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) about 50,000 to 100,000 women sustain obstetric fistula in the act of trying to bring forth new life annually while Nigeria accounts for 40 per cent of fistula cases worldwide; the Programme Director of Development Communications Network, Akin Jimoh has said.

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