“There are no sufficient health facilities to receive pregnant women in most zones and the existing health services are difficult to access,” the Emir of Shonga town in Nigeria Dr. Haliru Yahaya said when he spoke about his country.

Reproductive Health
Reproductive Health

“Due to this situation, 111 women or girls die each day due to complications during delivery,” he revealed.
“The low level of education also constitutes a major obstacle for the success of health policies,” he said, explaining that “girl-child education is taken into account in Southern Nigeria, but not in the Northern part due to cultural beliefs.”

“We must take into account all these sociocultural realities when coming up with health and education programs, without forgetting that close to 70 percent of Nigerians live with less than a dollar a day,” Yahaya affirmed.

The director for Guinea’s National Reproductive Health Agency Dr. Aissatou Diallo said “the major obstacles to reproductive health policies in Guinea were illiteracy which is estimated to be 70 percent of the population and low accessibility to health services.”

“The status of a woman equally poses a problem because she is not always able to discuss her sexuality,” Dr. Diallo regretted, before deploring “the low involvement of some religious leaders and poor interpretation of some religious texts.”

She however said some religious leaders in Guinea were actively taking part in the fight against maternal and infant mortality, by supporting family planing programs where only 6 percent of women use contraceptives and on average, each woman has five children.

The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General in West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, said “West Africa was affected by several problems such as Ebola and terrorism orchestrated by Boko Haram in different countries.”
“This situation can cause extreme violence and contribute to low access to education, besides increasing mortality rate in the sub-region,” he warned.

“Religious and traditional leaders are the key pillars in several countries, we should involve them in resolution of conflicts,” he advised.

“They are also the best ambassadors in the fight against cultural practices which are sometimes obstacles to the education of girls and the success of health policies,” Ibn Chambas concluded. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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