reproductive health

The aim of this paper is to explore the prevalence and factors associated with awareness of cervical cancer among women of reproductive age in Republic of Benin and Zimbabwe, sub-Saharan Africa. About 15,928 and 9,955 women aged 15–49  years were included in this study, respectively. While the majority (79.2%) of women from Zimbabwe have heard about cervical cancer, only about one-tenth (10.2%) of their Beninese counterparts have heard about the disease. The study has revealed that socio-demographical factors including geographical location and selected economic factors explained the inequality in distribution of women’s awareness on cervical cancer in both countries. Designing an effective population-based health education and promotion intervention programs on cervical cancer will be a great way forward to improving women’s awareness level on cervical cancer.

To identify and to assess factors enhancing or hindering the delivery of breast and cervical cancer screening services in Malawi with regard to accessibility, uptake, acceptability and effectiveness, a search of six bibliographic databases and grey literature was executed to identify relevant studies conducted in Malawi in English. One hundred and one unique records were retrieved and 6 studies were selected for final inclusion in the review. Multiple factors affect breast and cervical cancer service delivery in Malawi, operating at three interlinked levels. At the patient level, lack of knowledge and awareness of the disease, location, poor screening environment and perceived quality of care may act as deterrents to participation in screening; at the health facility level, services are affected by the availability of resources and delivery modalities; and at the healthcare system level, inadequate funding and staffing and lack of appropriate monitoring and guidelines may have a negative impact on services. Convenience of screening, in terms of accessibility and integration with other health services, was found to have a positive effect on service uptake. Building awareness of cancer and related services and offering quality screening are significant determinants of patient satisfaction. Capitalising on these lessons is essential to strengthen breast and cervical cancer service delivery in Malawi, to increase early detection and to improve survival of women.

In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals set targets for social achievements by 2015 including goals related to maternal and child health, with mixed success. Several initiatives supported these goals including assuring availability of appropriate medicines and commodities to meet health service targets. We compiled indicator data on 15 commodities related to reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) and analyzed them across 75 Countdown to 2015 countries from eight regions to identify problems with specific commodities and determinants of access. The determinants related to policy, regulatory environment, financing, pharmaceutical procurement and supply chain, and information systems. We also developed a dashboard for policy and systems indicators for select countries. The commodities we identified as having the fewest barriers to access had been in use longer. No country reported recent stock-outs of all the 15 commodities at the central level—countries always had some of the 15 commodities available. This analysis highlights country deficiencies in policies and systems, such as incoherent policy guidelines, problems in product registration, lack of logistics data, and central-level stock-outs that may affect access to essential RMNCH commodities.

Since the 1990s, the Inter-agency field manual on reproductive health in humanitarian settings (IAFM) has provided authoritative guidance on reproductive health service provision during different phases of complex humanitarian emergencies. In 2018, the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises will release a new edition of this global resource. In this article, we describe the collaborative and inter-sectoral revision process and highlight major changes in the 2018 IAFM. We conclude with an outline of plans for releasing the 2018 IAFM and facilitating uptake by those working in refugee, crisis, conflict, and emergency settings.

Kobe Refugee camp hosts roughly 39,000 refugees displaced from Somalia during the 2011–2012 Horn of Africa Crisis. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues, as well as the greater issues of health and well-being for adolescents displaced from this crisis, remain largely unknown and neglected. In 2013, the Women’s Refugee Commission, Johns Hopkins University, and International Medical Corps in Ethiopia implemented qualitative and quantitative research to explore the factors and risks that impact the health of very young adolescents (VYAs), those 10–14 years of age, in this setting. This research identified several factors that were found to influence the health and well-being of VYAs in Kobe refugee camp, including newfound access to education and security, combined with gender divisions and parental communication around early SRH and puberty that remained intact from traditional Somali culture. Girls were found to face an additional risk of child marriage and early pregnancy since displacement, which significantly limited their ability to access education and achieve future aspirations.

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