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 Conversation Africa

Adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa have a very high risk of acquiring HIV. The latest global AIDS update report suggests that a staggering six out of seven new infections among 15-19-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa are among girls.

Entrenched gender inequalities make young women and girls more vulnerable to coercive behaviour that leaves them unable to negotiate safe sex.

But there is a method for adolescent girls and young women to protect themselves from HIV without having to convince a partner to use a condom at the time of sex. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a pill containing antiretroviral drugs that can help prevent HIV. If taken consistently, PrEP can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted HIV infection by about 99%.

HIV prevention medication has been part of HIV prevention efforts since around 2014. Globally, PrEP has contributed to declines in new HIV infections among high-risk populations. But this does not seem to be the case for adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

In a recent study, my colleagues and I at the Manicaland Centre for Public Health Research interviewed healthcare providers in eastern Zimbabwe to understand the low uptake of PrEP and what they would recommend to improve it.

Insights from healthcare providers

We asked 12 healthcare providers about their experiences of making HIV prevention services available to young people. We asked them specifically about PrEP. We also invited the healthcare providers to share their top three recommendations for improving access to PrEP for young women.

This is the first study of its kind to focus on the perspectives of healthcare providers in southern Africa. Considering their perspectives is particularly important. Healthcare providers are not only at the front-line in the delivery of PrEP. They often live in the same community and understand the socio-cultural contexts of their clients. This combination of experiences is valuable and must inform future programming.

Their recommendations point to six actions.

  • Run PrEP awareness campaigns, specifically at schools, giving adolescent girls and young women information about PrEP and how to access it. The campaigns would also have to debunk myths about PrEP only being for women engaged in sex work – a common myth in the study area – as well as fears about potential side effects. Campaigns targeting adolescent girls and young women must be accompanied by community campaigns. These should encourage parents to talk to their children about HIV prevention methods, including PrEP, and to shift community perceptions about PrEP as a pill that encourages promiscuity.

  • Involve adolescent girls and young women in the rollout of PrEP. Young women must design, feature in and deliver the awareness campaigns. Young women need role models of peers on PrEP.

    • Eliminate costs associated with PrEP uptake. PrEP is freely accessible in many sub-Saharan African countries. But getting to the clinic, taking time off work to go to the clinic for refills and monitoring, and getting registered at the clinic may come at a cost. In resource poor settings, these small associated costs can be prohibitive and need to be eliminated, either through reimbursements or through an incentive-based payment system.

    • Strengthen the human resource capacity of health services to deliver PrEP. PrEP is still relatively new in many sub-Saharan African settings, including Zimbabwe. Although PrEP has been available in Zimbabwe since 2018, it has been limited to certain population groups through demonstration projects. PrEP services to adolescent girls and young women are still limited and in their infancy. A young woman looking for PrEP is therefore unlikely to find specialised and dedicated staff who is ready and available to assist. Investments are needed to make available a cadre of trained prescribers who can deliver PrEP to young women in a professional and timely manner.

    • Make PrEP services youth and female friendly. Strong gender norms subject many adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa to different forms of social control around their sexuality. The healthcare providers recognised their role in this. Young women fear going to the clinic, worried they might be seen by community members. They also fear the attitudes and indiscretions of healthcare providers, who may disapprove of a young girl’s use of PrEP, and may tell parents that their girl is sexually active. Healthcare workers fully recognise these challenges and call for the delivery of PrEP through sexual and reproductive health hubs that are discreet, youth friendly, and staffed by young and sex-positive healthcare workers. They also recognise that such services must be open outside school hours if they are to reach adolescent girls.

    • Improve the PrEP pill and its packaging. The pill is big and some people find it uncomfortable to swallow. Some may also experience significant side effects. Its packaging challenges secret PrEP use.

    Looking ahead

  • A recent report by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care found young women to have an HIV incidence more than nine times higher than that of their male peers. HIV prevention service planners looking to increase access and uptake of PrEP among adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in the region must take heed of these findings.

    Many more actions will of course be needed for the effective rollout of PrEP for adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

    However, the six actions emerging from our interviews with healthcare workers in Zimbabwe highlight solutions to some key challenges.

Source: Agence Mauritanienne d'Information

L’Association Mauritanienne pour la Promotion de la Famille, en partenariat avec l’Union Internationale pour l’Organisation de la Famille (région du monde arabe), a organisé, lundi à Nouakchott, un atelier sur les mutilations génitales féminines et l’attitude de la religion par rapport à cette pratique.

ATTENTION: Mentions de viols et violences sexuelles

Source: rfi

La décision de la Cour Suprême américaine de révoquer le droit à l’avortement fait réagir jusqu’en Afrique. Sur le continent, l’interruption volontaire de grossesse (IVG) reste interdite dans une grande majorité de pays. C’est le cas en Côte d’Ivoire par exemple, où l’avortement n’est autorisé qu’en cas de danger pour la vie de la mère ou en cas de viol et d’inceste. Une proposition de loi est toutefois en préparation pour libéraliser les IVG, mais ce n’est pas encore gagné.


SELOKOLELA, Botswana/UNITED NATIONS, New York – “Menstruation is still considered a secret that is hardly discussed,” Ogaufi Moisakamo, in Botswana, told UNFPA. “When I got my first period, I was also ashamed of informing my mother. And when I finally told her, she only warned me against playing with boys as it would ‘get me pregnant’.”

SOURCE: Concord

The United Nations children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that menstrual health and hygiene management is still out of reach, particularly among the poorest, ethnic groups, refugees, and people with disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa.



Cameroon observed World Menstrual Hygiene Day Saturday with donors and health workers distributing reusable sanitary pads to several hundred poor girls displaced by terrorism and the country’s separatist crisis. Some of the girls said they were seeing sanitary pads for the first time. Also, sensitization teams are working to convince communities to stop stigmatizing girls during menstruation.


It took a little over two years after she sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in 2018 for the life of 22-year-old Sarah Bangura to change - even forcing her to seek comfort at the country's psychiatric hospital - due to the effects of obstetric fistula, a condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal caused by prolonged, obstructed labour.

SOURCE: Spotlight Initiative

After four months of hard work, Sally Njie and Praise Gimba are proud to release their new song. ‘Cut No More’ delivers a catchy melody but it also shares an important message: warning about the risks of female genital mutilation (FGM). Even more impressive? It does this in three different languages – Wolof, Mandinka and English.

SOURCE: Times of Zambia

A RETIRED midwife on the Copperbelt has expressed concern over the alleged mushrooming of private surgery clinics that are offering unsafe abortions in various townships.

Source: Le 360 Afrique

En Mauritanie, le taux de déperdition scolaire entre le primaire et le secondaire est estimé à 45%. Chez les filles, ce phénomène est dû en partie aux menstruations. L’ONG Initiative Développement et l’UNICEF veulent y remédier par la fabrication et la distribution de kits d’hygiène.

SOURCE: Africa Renewal

One of the volunteers, Rose Mukhaye, reminded Delourice to regularly attend the antenatal clinics at the local Esiriambatsi Health Centre as soon as she found out she was pregnant. 

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