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Reproductive Health - African Union

Reproductive Health - African Union

(as opposed to 62% in

(as opposed to 62% in Latin America and 14% in Asia). About twice as many young women as men are infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa In 2001, it was estimated that 6% to 11% of young women were living with HIV/AIDS, compared 3% to 6% of young men. • Adolescent Reproductive Health Adolescents and young people aged 15-19, who represent 20.3 % of the African population, are at risk of early and unwanted pregnancy leading to unsafe abortion, sexually transmied diseases and dropping out of school. In the majority of countries, young people lack relevant information on sexual and reproductive rights and health. The UN Population Division estimates that of the African girls who were sexually active by the age 20, 51% had initiated sexual activity before marriage. The corresponding proportion for males is 90%. As a result, the contribution to fertility of adolescents aged 15-19 is around 107 per 1,000 women 15-19 years old (ranging from 7 to 233 . In some sub-regions, the proportion of girls aged 15-19 with at least one child varies from 10% in the Congo to over 30% in the Cameroon. • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) While FGM is relatively high in many countries, there is a legal and legislative vacuum that needs to be addressed. The percentage of FGM ranges from 10% to 89% • Sexual And Domestic Violence While sexual and domestic violence is widespread in most African countries, the phenomenon is still poorly reported due socio-cultural reasons and to the legal vacuum surrounding this issue. • Health Budget Allocation Some regional meetings decried the low budgetary allocations to health in general and to RH in particular. In Central Africa, the percentage of the states’ budgets allocated to health ranges from 3.6% in Sao Tome and Principe to 14.3 % in Equatorial Guinea. 14 Sexual and Reproductive Health And Rights

Challenges: In view of the SRHR issues identified by the Regional consultations, the participants identified the following challenges that Africa has to face if the African countries are to successfully implement the ICPD Programme of Action. These challenges relate to areas such as policy and legislation, infrastructures, services, human resource development and partnership. Policy: While all African countries agreed to the ICPD/PoA and renewed their commitment on the occasion of Cairo Plus 5 and Cairo at Ten, many policies and laws need to be amended in order to match the commitments made, especially in the areas of SRHR, HIV/AIDS and adolescent and young people SRH. In addition, means have to be provided for the successful implementation of the World health organization (WHO) Roadmap on maternal, infant and child mortality. African governments are also faced with the task of integrating internationally agreed resolutions and agreements in national legislations and in the future Programme of Action of NEPAD. One of the difficulties faced in the area of policy formulation is the absence of adequate human and technical capacity to monitor progress in the implementation of the ICPD objectives. This deficiency includes the areas of data collection and analysis and the absence of indicators and benchmarks and the quasi absence of SRH management information systems in many countries. Funding Despite the commitments made by donors at the Cairo Conference, the level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in general and the level of ODA devoted to health, the actual funding decreased between 1995 and 2001. It was only in 2002 that the decreasing trend of ODA has been checked and its amount returned to the pre-ICPD figure in 2003. Infrastructures: Due to low budget allocations to health, in general and to reproductive health, in particular, the existing infrastructures, including facilities and equipment are not able to cope with the rising RH demands, especially in remote and rural areas where the majority of the population lives. Sexual and Reproductive Health And Rights 15

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