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COVID-19: WHY COULD THE PANDEMIC IMPACT WOMEN AND GIRLS HEALTH?

COVID-19: WHY COULD THE PANDEMIC IMPACT WOMEN AND GIRLS HEALTH?

Monday 13th July 2020

By Andy Rakotovao

2020 first half is marked by the pandemic which has had worldwide health, economic or even safety consequences.

The coronavirus health crisis could have an impact on physical, sexual and reproductive health of women and girls all over the world. A recent research conducted by the United Nations Fund for Populations Activities (UNFPA), John Hopkins University (US), and Victoria University (AUS) finds that the number of women who can’t access to family planning, and deal with unwanted pregnancy could skyrocket in the coming months.

In fact, due to disruptions in health centres, including the closings of health care providers, or even the fear of getting the virus, many women have limited or can’t access to family planning. We also notice that the pandemic destabilize the global supply chain, which can result in a considerable shortage of contraceptives. In addition, redeployment of public resources owing to the health emergency can narrow sexual, reproductive and maternal health services.

According to a recent research of UNFPA, 47 millions of women living in poor and middle-income countries are at risk to not have access to modern contraception and 7 millions of unwanted pregnancy are to foresee if lockdown continues

Women and girls sexual and reproductive needs and rights should always be taken into account whether in times of crisis or not. Dr Natalia Kanem, Managing Director of UNFPA emphasizes this by saying: “Reproductive health and rights of women must be protected at all cost. Services must continue, supplies must be delivered and people at risk must be protected and supported.”

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