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Your Africa Health News Bites For January by Dara Oloyede

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Kenya: Family Planning is Economical

Ebola Wrecks Years of Aid Work in Worst-Hit Countries

In Senegal, Imam Support Key to Success in Family Planning Policy

Meeting Africa's Mental Health Needs

Female condom empowers Ethiopian Women at Risk

 

Kenya: Family Planning is Economical

In Kenya, there are over 40 million people, Government organizations in partnership with other organizations are “investing heavily in family planning”  because the population of Kenya is “expected to double by the year 2050” (voanews.com). The measures that are being taken are not solely in the name of population control but also to protect the country’s economy (voanews.com). As the cost of living continues to rise, family planning provides options for families (voanews.com). “Kenya's Health Ministry has said increasing access to family planning resources is key to meeting the country's development goals in the coming decades” (voanews.com). 

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: In Kenya, Family Planning is an Economic Safeguard

http://www.voanews.com/content/in-kenya-family-planning-is-an-economic-safeguard/2579394.html

Ebola Wrecks Years of Aid Work in Worst-Hit Countries

In Sierra Leone and Liberia, Ebola is sending these countries a step backwards from years of work and improvement in terms of health and education (voanews.com).  After “more than a decade of peace and quickening economic growth, [which] had raised hopes that the nations could finally reduce their dependency on foreign aid and budgetary support, now Ebola has undermined those achievements” (voanews.com).

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: Ebola Wrecks Years of Aid Work in Worst-Hit Countries

http://www.voanews.com/content/ebola-wrecks-years-of-aid-work-in-worst-hit-countries/2578956.html

In Senegal, Imam Support Key to Success in Family Planning Policy

Across many nations in Africa discussions about Birth control cannot be had without the consideration of the intersectionality of culture, religion, and patriarchy (voanews.com). “Senegal’s population of more than 14 million people is 94 percent Muslim. So when the time came to tackle the issue of birth control as a matter of public policy, health professionals were not the only ones brought into the discussion” (voanews.com). The Ministry of health worked with local health clinics and religious leaders to talk about outreach for birth control (voanews.com). “When it was explained that the message was not to no longer have children, but instead space out births for health of the mother and for the health of the child, things started to change” (voanews.com). The campaign had begun in 2011, and since,

Infant mortality rate in Senegal has dropped to about two percent, and it could not have been done without the support of Muslim leaders (voanews.com). 

For more information check out this article at voanews.com: In Senegal, Imam Support Key to Success in Family Planning Policy

http://www.voanews.com/content/in-senegal-imam-support-key-to-success-in-family-planning-policy/2577196.html

Meeting Africa's Mental Health Needs

A 2003 WHO reported that about 90% of people in developing countries who are in need of access to mental health facilities, are unable to receive it (allafrica.com).  “Across Africa, there is only one psychiatrist for every million people. As a result, doctors throughout the continent are realizing that if they want to widen access to mental health, they can't wait until there are more psychiatrists” (allafrica.com).  Often, in many different places is Africa, mental illnesses are attributed to being the work of evil spirits, and therefore modern healthcare must be able to understand and navigate through various beliefs (allafrica.com).  “One of the most far-reaching initiatives in Africa is the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) project, which involves Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda, along with India and Nepal. This is a six-year endeavor to identify and test ways to deliver high-quality primary mental healthcare in low-resource countries began in 2011” (allafrica.com).

For more information check out this article at allafrica.com: Africa: Meeting Africa's Mental Health Needs: http://allafrica.com/stories/201412300147.html

Female condom empowers Ethiopian Women at Risk

In the article, the author Befekadu Beyene, examines the impact of the introduction of the new female condom in Ethiopia. These new Female condoms give power to women who are at risk. “The Wise-Up project, a sexual and reproductive health charity DKT Ethiopia, targets sex workers, their clients and intimate partners with prevention activities” (keycorrespondents.org). This organization is raising awareness of the new condom through outreach across the country (keycorrespondents.org). According the coordinator of Wise-Up, Yenenesh Tarekegn, they believe that “the new female condom could contribute to decreasing the transmission of HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections” (keycorrespondents.org). “The organization is trying to promote the female condom to students in higher education, young people out of school and sex workers” (keycorrespondents.org).

For more information check out this article at keycorrespondents.org: Female condom empowers Ethiopian sex workers to prevent HIV: http://www.keycorrespondents.org/2014/12/01/female-condom-empowers-ethiopian-sex-workers-to-prevent-hiv/

Dara Oloyede is the African News Correspondent for Engage Africa Foundation. She is currently a Sociology and Ethnic Studies major at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Colorado. She was born in Nigeria, and currently is the Director of Events for African Students Association at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently works at Community Health on her campus as a student coordinator and gives presentations centered on promoting student wellness through education and support. She hopes to pursue further studies in Public Health after graduating from with her Bachelors degree. During her free time she likes to read books, hang out with friends, go to the movies, concerts, as well as events that celebrate different cultures. 

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