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How COVID-19 has Affected the African Woman’s Choices

A woman holds a packet of contraceptive pills, in Harare, Thursday, April 9, 2020. Lockdowns imposed to curb the coronavirus’ spread have put millions of women in Africa, Asia and elsewhere out of reach of birth control and other sexual and reproductive health needs. Confined to their homes with husbands and others, they face unwanted pregnancies and little idea of when they can reach the outside world again. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Lockdowns imposed to curb the coronavirus’ spread have put millions of women in Africa, Asia and elsewhere out of reach of birth control and other sexual and reproductive health needs. Confined to their homes with their husbands and others, they face unwanted pregnancies and little idea of when they can reach the outside world again. Even where family planning remains available, providers say many women fear venturing out and being beaten by security forces and accused of defying the new restrictions. Meanwhile, outreach services, the key to reaching rural women, have largely stopped to avoid drawing crowds and the risk of workers spreading the virus from one community to another. The International Planned Parenthood Federation, or IPPF, in a new report Thursday says more than one in five member clinics around the world have closed because of the pandemic and related restrictions. More than 5,000 mobile clinics across 64 countries have closed. Most are in South Asia and Africa, but Latin America and Europe have seen hundreds of closures as well.

SOURCE: VOA

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