Countdown to ZERO
 

Creating a New Norm in Non-Circumcising Ethiopian Province

Chiang Both from Gambella, a remote and a traditionally non-circumcising province in Ethiopia that borders Sudan, volunteered to undergo the procedure despite his community’s initial mistrust.  

Fear of HIV Testing Among Zimbabwe’s Teens

Seventeen-year-old Natalie Mlambo* has two good reasons to get tested for HIV. She has two boyfriends and has unprotected sex with them. One is a high school classmate. The other is older, works in a bank, and can afford to give Mlambo small gifts and some money.

A Shortage of ARVs and a Surplus of Stigma in Côte d’Ivoire

At the Cocody-Anono community health centre, south-east of the Ivorian economic capital of Abidjan, Bertine Bahi* regularly attends awareness sessions on Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) for women living with HIV.

Cameroon’s HIV Message Misses Pregnant Teens

With a wide smile Beatrice M.* says that she lives by the motto “life is short and beautiful — live it to the full.” The 20-year-old, HIV-positive mother refuses to be defeated by her new circumstances.

Cuban Teenagers Overuse Abortion as Birth Control

In nearly all of Latin America, illegal abortion is a serious public health problem. But in Cuba, where abortion is legal, it is being overused by teenagers.

When Children Give Birth to Children

Radhika Thapa was just 16 years old when she married a 21-year-old boy three years ago. Now, she is expecting a baby and is well into the last months of her pregnancy. This is not the first time she has been with child – her first two pregnancies ended in miscarriages.

Kenya’s Mothers Shun Free Maternity Health Care

It has been a month since the Kenyan government waived the maternity fee at public health facilities, but Millicent Awino is still one of the many expectant mothers in favour of a home birth.

Working to Save Malawi’s Mothers

Charity Salima, 54, has helped to deliver over 4,000 babies in her maternity clinic in Area 23 – one of Malawi’s poorest and most populous townships – and has yet to record a single pregnancy-related death.

‘Happy Prostitutes’ AIDS Campaign Sparks Debate

Happiness, the subject of endless philosophical discussions, has now become the focus of controversy in an HIV/AIDS prevention campaign aimed at prostitutes in Brazil. The campaign chief has been booted out and a further question has been raised: What are the limits of popular participation in the definition of public policies?

The Battle to Save DRC’s Mothers

"Many hospitals and health centres" that are not run by NGOs "do not meet health standards," according to Dominique Baabo, provincial medical inspector for North Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sex Educators Struggle to Break Taboos

Liberian journalist Mae Azango says she spent a year living “like a bat, going from tree to tree” with her daughter in order to escape religious fanatics who were threatening to kill her for exposing the practice of female genital mutilation in her home country last year.

Youth Say Coca-Cola Is Easier to Find Than Condoms

“If I am thirsty and want a bottle of Coca-Cola I can get it, no matter where in the world I am. Why can’t I get contraceptives or sexual heathcare?” asked Carlos Jimmy Macazana Quispe, a youth representative from Peru currently in Kuala Lumpur for the third edition of the Women Deliver global conference on the "health and well-being of women and girls."

Maternal Healthcare Evades Marginalised Mothers

In the small village of Haldiyaganj in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya, 17-year old Injuara Begum is nursing her son who was born right here on the floor of her home three years ago.

UNFPA Focuses on Contraception for 222 Million in Developing World

When thousands of participants from around the world gather in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur next week, the primary focus will be on health and empowerment of girls and women.

OP-ED: Put a Spotlight on African Women’s Reproductive Rights

Victoria J. married in 2009 at age 14, and became pregnant shortly after. “I started labour in the morning on a Friday …. The nurse kept checking and saying I would deliver safely. On Monday she said I was weak.

New Rule for State-Paid Childbirth Stirs Discontent in Armenia

A government decree in Armenia that bars pregnant women who are not residents of Yerevan from receiving free childbirth services in the capital is causing discontent in outlying regions.

Skilled Midwives May be the Key to Healthy Babies

The story goes like this: a young mother lies quietly in a dimly lit room having just given birth to her baby. For the next seven days she watches over the child with caution, nursing and swaddling it patiently. Fearful that the infant will not survive past a few days, she refuses to give it a name.

Educating Mothers to End South Africa’s Newborn Deaths

A young mother – who only wants to be identified as Karren – beamed as she nursed her newborn baby at the University of Witwatersrand’s Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, in Hillbrow, South Africa. 

Q&A: Ecuador Guarantees Right to Free Emergency Contraception

The government of Ecuador is determined to curb the growing number of teen pregnancies, and has begun to knock down barriers that stand in the way of the right to a responsible sexual and reproductive life.

No Woman Should Die Giving Life

Every single day, 452 women in sub-Saharan Africa die from pregnancy-related causes; that’s 18 women every hour.

Senegal Seeks to Curb the Baby Boom

A 25-year-old mother of five hailing from Senegal’s eastern Tambacounda province believes that contraceptives damage the womb and cause health problems in the long term, such as a rise in blood pressure and chronic headaches.

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