WHILE governments in sub-Saharan Africa continue to dole out money on military hardware, teargas canisters and baton sticks etc., pregnant women in the region are dying in droves due to lack of proper healthcare. Paradoxically, women and girls are the main caregivers for the sick in the absence of proper health systems. Yet when they need care the most during pregnancy it is not available, a scenario made worse by gender inequities that put the lives of women and girls at risk.
The statistics are downright shocking. In sub Saharan Africa, 1 in 16 women is likely to die as a consequence of pregnancy and childbirth, according to a recently published report titled “Measure of Commitment: Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Risk Index for Sub-Saharan Africa”.
For many women in the region, particularly in underserved remote and rural areas, getting pregnant is akin to a death sentence.
“Pregnancy is dangerous business in Sub Saharan Africa where a woman is 100 times more likely to die from pregnancy related complication than in a developed country,” states the report. Continue reading