Sexually Transmitted Diseases to Babies

Sexually Transmitted Diseases to Babies Image

Sexually transmitted diseases as the name suggests, are transmitted through sexual contact. In sub-Saharan Africa, Statistics show that sexually transmitted diseases are among the main reasons why most people seek medical care. 

However, this statistics largely refer to men, and reveals that women in these regions are slow to seek medical attention in regard to sexual diseases. 

This puts these children and many in other African regions at risk because there is an incredible number of sexually transmitted infections that can be transmitted through a mother during pregnancy or, during childbirth. 

Among these infections include HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, Chlamydia, hepatitis B, and HPV. 

Reports from centers for disease and control, CDC reveal risk factors that are predominant in Africa and predispose infants to maternal sexually transmitted infections; this includes the relationship status of the mother and her sex partner, including his fidelity to her as a sex partner and the consistency of the relationship.  

Poverty, homelessness and her inability to access timely STD screening and treatment services has also been reported to increase her risk of STI infections 

Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases among Babies in Africa

Evidence shows that of the listed STI’s that are transmitted to babies in Africa, HIV is given quite an emphasis due to the numerous debilitating effects that come with the disease, not to mention the stigma, high probability of death, and suffering to both mother and child. These efforts have seen a tremendous decline in mother to child transmission from 30% to 1%.

However, although syphilis is known to have equally severe consequences on pregnancies and newborns in these regions, it has not received an equal measure of mobilization towards eradication. The prevalence of syphilis infection among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be 2.7%, which represents nearly 1 million pregnancies to be at risk annually.

More than 50% of children born with congenital syphilis in Africa are initially asymptomatic, making a prenatal diagnosis of maternal infection vital to improving mother-child pregnancy outcomes.

Gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, or Trichomonas vaginalis in pregnant women can be as high as 25% of sexual infections among newborns in Africa.

Globally neonatal herpes maternal transmissions although rare, accounts are estimated to be 14,000 annually, with majority of this numbers originating from Africa.

Effect of the STI Diseases on Babies in Africa

Mother to child transmissions during pregnancy and childbirth in Africa can result in neonatal deaths, stillbirth, sepsis, conjunctivitis, congenital deformities, low birth weight, and premature newborns. 

Extreme effects of STIs may include blindness, physical disability, mental retardation, and even death. 

Treatment

Viral STI’s are not treatable; however, all the bacterial infection causing STIs are curable, including syphilis. However, adverse effects of syphilis in Africa in both the mother and child are preventable. 

In Tanzania, this was done with effective screening and then treating with a single intramuscular dose of benzathine penicillin. 

Conclusion – STI’s Among Babies In Africa

Sexually transmitted diseases among babies remains a serious threat, however, treatment is available for most of the curable infections when presented timely in hospitals. 

HIV screening for pregnant women in Africa to prevent maternal infection is effective and is duly carried out among women attending antenatal care.

Although it has received challenges in some resource-poor settings, screening of syphilis among pregnant women attending antenatal care is also done routinely in this region. 

BV Bacterial Species in the Vaginal Flora Could Make African Women Vulnerable to HIV

BV Bacterial Species in the Vaginal Flora Could Make African Women Vulnerable to HIV Image

There are over 37.9 million people registered with HIV, and there are 1.7 million children, reports show. Over 68% of the affected are currently residing in the sub-Saharan African region. 

In poor income regions, such as Africa, it has become difficult to control the infection. But, the problem is that BV Bacterial Species could be making African women vulnerable to HIV, even if they don’t know it. We compiled all the statistical analyses on these bacteria and the way it works. 

How BV Bacterial Species Exposes African Women to HIV?

Many experts have discussed the connection between STDs and vaginal flora

Based on clinical studies, the vaginal flora is susceptible to bacteria, like the Bacterial vaginosis, which is a predictor of chlamydia and gonorrhea. It makes women susceptible to STDs that can later be transferred to a male partner. 

But, there are even more impactful bacteria that expose women to HIV. This is what experts refer to the BV-related bacteria. This bacteria is not a recent occurrence. In fact, it has been present in the air for a very long time. 

The clinical reports show that many African women are vulnerable to these bacteria. To be precise, 20% to 30% of the population of African women could be at risk of developing HIV. This includes sex workers, pregnant, post-partum women, and those in mixed-status relationships (where one of the partners is infected with HIV).  

What’s the Cause?

Scientists first debated what could be the cause of such a greater vulnerability. Why the African women would be at risk of the BV-bacterial species, could it have something to do with the presence of the bacteria, or is it linked to their protective lactobacilli?

It seems that many researchers agree that the susceptibility to HIV is due to the high presence of disruptive bacteria. Not because of the lack of protective ones. While there is only a limited amount of research, it’s critical for women to understand their vaginal flora and take the right precautions.  

How to Treat the Problem Before It Makes You Vulnerable to HIV?

The BV Bacterial species are often recognized by the bad vaginal odor. Particularly after sexual intercourse. The vaginal discharge tends to emit uncomfortable smells. Because of the symptoms, many women confuse it with a typical vaginal infection. 

But, this one requires proper antibiotic treatment with medications like metronidazole and clindamycin. If you notice the symptoms, it is best to book a gynecology appointment and reduce your vulnerability to HIV. Taking proper care of your vaginal health can go a long way.

References

https://sti.bmj.com/content/94/8/616

https://www.avert.org/global-hiv-and-aids-statistics

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/254342-overview

How Aware are Africans of STDs? Take a Look At This Recent Survey

How Aware are Africans of STDs? Take a Look At This Recent Survey Image

STDs are a massive health burden, particularly in low-income regions like the African continent. They’ve also had massive economic and social consequences. 

Recently, however, more countries and organizations have organized courses, centers, and volunteers to educate the African population on STDs’ importance, like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, etc. In some areas, the infection rates have been dropping. But, there is still a huge number of people infected.

The question is, have these efforts paid off? How many Africans are actually aware of STDs? We’ve decided to take a closer look at rural communities and poorer African regions. Here is what a recent statistical survey has to say. 

HIV Awareness in Africa

Over 68% of people infected with HIV live in Africa. In 2018, 800,000 new infections were registered in the southern and eastern parts of this continent. Does that mean not many people are aware of the infection?

Researchers asked over 1 million Africans from 35 countries, whether they think condoms will reduce the chance of contracting HIV. 66.8% of the participants answered “yes.” But, when they were asked whether sex will expose them to HBV, just 42.5% answered “yes.” 

In South Africa, researchers asked a different question. They gathered over 11,000 participants between the ages of 15 to 25. They were asked whether they understand the risk of HIV. Only 42.5% answered, “yes.” 

Another topic covered in the survey was mosquito bites. When asked whether they think a mosquito bite can get them infected with HIV, 16.8% of the 95,856 Nigerian citizens answered “yes.”

Based on reports, when a mosquito bites, only the saliva is injected into the human blood. Not the HIV positive cells. Compared to other mosquito-borne diseases, HIV is not one of them. The insect’s gut can’t replicate the HIV cells, which means it gets broken down before it can actually get transmitted. 

STDs Awareness in Africa

The African population is still not fully aware of the impact of HIV, let alone STIs. 

It seems there is still a place to implement the need to share knowledge. When asked if they are familiar with gonorrhea, only 22.8% of the 1,123 people evaluated in Madagascar and Nigeria answered “yes.” 

Their main sources of information came from friends or colleagues. But, in regions such as these, awareness should be enforced, experts recommend. By highlighting the impact of infections like STIs and HIV, we can reduce the gap of weakness and lack of knowledge and increase the quality of life.

References:

https://www.avert.org/global-hiv-and-aids-statistics

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0213224

https://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/viruses101/why_cant_mosquitos_transmit_hiv/

Things Are Elephant: The Effect of COVID-19 in Nairobi Low-Income Areas

Things Are Elephant: The Effect of COVID-19 in Nairobi Low-Income Areas Image

The containment measures implemented by both the national government, coupled up by the Nairobi Metropolitan area curfew, have rendered nearly 30% of low-income earners jobless, a report has revealed.

A recent report by TIFA shows that over 2.5 million low-income earners in Nairobi have had their source of livelihood interrupted because of the lockdown. This had led to an increase in the number of sexual disease infections.

TIFA Report

  1. The LockDown

The survey titled “Covid-19 Global Pandemic in Nairobi’s Low-Income Areas” was conducted in Kibera, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Kwangware, Mathare and Huruma.

According to the report, about 60% of the people who have incurred significant losses say the government should lift the restriction so they can get back to their daily economic activities, even if it means getting the virus.

The report further reveals that 75% of the households could face starvation because of the disrupted source of livelihood.  So, many of the city dwellers are desperate to make end meets.

  1. Traffic Ban and Curfew

Social interactions and movement have also suffered a huge blow. Travel bans in and out of Nairobi and the implementation of the 7 PM to 5 AM curfew has affected over 66% of the city dwellers.  Most of them cannot travel upcountry to be with their families.

The report also notes that 57% of the low-income earners are anxious about the continuation of the travel ban and curfew in Nairobi, and they want the restriction to be lifted so they can resume their normal daily activities.

  1. Increased Crime Rate

Another reason why over 80% of the respondents want the restriction to be lifted is that they fear a spike in crime rates. They’re concerned that the city might revert to its grim state during the Nyayo era. An era where theft and daytime robbery was the norm.

Mama Mwaniki one of the respondents who own a vegetable stall says she closes her job as early as 4 PM every day because she fears the gangs of young men who troll the streets mugging and pick-pocketing citizens as soon as dusk approaches.

With the constant rise of COVID-19 cases and deaths, It’s no surprise that the majority of the citizens are skeptical if things will change.  Majority of the people fear to contract the virus.

Overview 

It’s no secret. The COVID-19 crisis has affected both the social and economic life of most Nairobi citizens. Everybody has a different view on the lockdown and restriction placed and whether they’re effective at curbing this menace.

Most of the respondents had high hopes that the president would lift the night curfew and travel ban on June 6th, 2020. But the president only extended the deadlines for the lockdown and reduced the curfew period.  He also hinted at a policy to open up the country.

Only July 6th, 2020, the president addressed the nation, lifting the partial lockdown imposed for months. On July 7th, 2020 the cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi was removed but the night-time curfew remained in place for another 30 days.

This finally means that low-income earners in Nairobi can resume their economic activities. However, the Coronavirus is still at large and the things might never be normal for those people who incurred significant losses.

Many people hope that the policy implemented by the government will help them get back to their feet once again.

References

https://www.nation.co.ke/kenya/news/low-income-areas-will-struggle-to-contain-covid-19-295550

http://www.tifaresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/TIFA-Survey-Report_Covid-19-Global-Pandemic-in-Nairobis-Low-Income-Areas_20.05.2020.pdf

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001374334/covid-19-measures-hit-nairobi-s-poor-hard-worst-yet-to-come-study

Risks Factors for Coerced Sex Among Female Youth in Ghana

Risks Factors for Coerced Sex Among Female Youth in Ghana Image

High rates of coerced sex among female youth in Ghana remains a huge public health concern. 

Sexual victimization is recognized as a human right violation and also as the main threat to the wellness of females.

It’s experiences have adverse mental, physical, and behavioral consequences that have been reported by studies across the world.

The most common and well-recorded consequences of sexual victimization are the effects on adolescent female reproductive and sexual health, including  STIs and HIV infection, unwanted pregnancies, and pregnancy complications (miscarriage, stillbirth, and low birth weight).

Identifying the risk factors that contribute to coerced sex among female youth will help us prevent the consequences and long-lasting negative impact of sexual victimization.

The common risk factors include:

Relationship Status

An intimate relationship is one of the primary sexual coercion risk factors. According to research, coerced sex is perpetuated with known victims, particularly those partners in intimate relationships and not strangers. 

Various studies have linked characteristics like age, power, and socioeconomic differentials between partners as the factors increasing the risks of coerced sex in intimate relationships. However, there is no evidence suggesting that a romantic relationship can increase the risk of coerced sex.

 The prevalence of sexual victimization in women with a history of sexual activity or multiple partners is high. Though most research excludes inexperienced females, yet they’re also at risk of coerced sex.

But this is understandable because this exclusion might be attributed to school status. Many in-school females are at a lower risk of being coerced into sex than those out-of-school.

School enrolment, act as a powerful impediment to the formation of intimate relationships. Even though schools provide a suitable environment to meet males and form relationships.

Multiple studies show that enrolled females are less likely to get involved in sex or be in romantic relationships.

Family Structure and Process

Family structure and process may increase or decrease the female risk against coerced sex. This depends directly on the family relationship experience.

Many studies have focused on one aspect of the family process and that’s behavioral control. This aspect includes monitoring of female youths by parents or other adult family members.

Also, it includes house rules and how consistently the rules are being enforced. Research suggests that behavioral control and parental monitoring prevents sexual activity among U.S. adolescents.

In Ghana and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, studies have found that monitoring by both parents and other family members has resulted in reduced risk of sexual activities among the youth.

Therefore, closely monitored female youths are less likely to get involved in romantic activities. Besides, if they do get involved, behavioral control might limit the opportunities of male partners to coerce them into having sex.

Societal Factors

Social factors such as male dominance promote gender inequalities, which consistently reinforces the male perception of violence against females.  This increases the risk of sexual victimization.

Tradition norms involving gender roles, the existence of a philosophy of male sexual entitlement, the social norm that supports sexual assault,  and weak legal sanction against sexual assault in African countries need to be addressed to prevent victimization.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493860/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15590381/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16566848/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11389258/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17027732/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493860/#R28

Vaginosis Treatment in Africa

Vaginosis Treatment in Africa Image

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most prevalent vaginal infection in women of reproductive age. It’s often associated with increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS and also pregnancy complications. 

BV is most common in parts of Africa, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region with the highest prenatal HIV primacy and a high rate of adverse pregnancy consequences, which range between 20% -50% in women in reproductive age.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Causes

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a bacterial infection that results from an overgrowth of one of the several vaginal bacteria.

Usually, the number of good bacteria (lactobacillus) outnumber the bad bacteria (anaerobes). The lactobacillus maintains a slightly acidic state in your vagina so that anaerobes don’t grow in number.

When the number of anaerobic bacteria increases, they upset the natural balance of microbes in your vagina, and you get Bacterial Vaginosis.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Risk Factors

Although we’ve said that BV is prevalent in women of reproductive age, any woman can develop BV regardless of her age.

Here are some activities that increase your risk of getting BV:

  • Smoking
  • Having multiple sex partners, especially female partners (You catch BV from both oral and anal sex)
  • Using vaginal deodorant, scented soaps and perfumed bubble baths
  • Washing undergarments with strong detergents
  • Douching or using medicated solution to clean the vagina upsets the balance of the bacteria
  • Having an IUD birth control device in your uterus–it has been linked to the bacterial infection, particularly if you have irregular bleeding.

You won’t get Bacterial Vaginosis from bedding, touching objects, toilet seats, or swimming.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Symptoms

Most of the Women with BV don’t even know they have it because they experience no symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and you won’t notice and they often come and go.

But here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Thin Vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell and gets stronger after sex
  • Thin grey, white or greenish vaginal discharge
  • Itching and burning when you pee

Bacterial Vaginosis: Diagnosis

A gynecologist might diagnose BV by going through your medical history and conducting a physical examination.

The doctor will look for a thin white or gray discharge and unpleasant smell.  The doctor might also conduct a pelvic exam and do other simple tests like:

  • Checking the acidity level or PH of your vagina
  • Using swabs or plastic loop to collect a sample of your vaginal discharge or cells from your vaginal wall to look for the bacteria‘s sample

Bacterial Vaginosis:  Treatment

Bacteria Vaginosis often clears without treatment, but women with BV symptoms should consult their doctors to avoid further complications.

BV is often cured with antibiotic medication- either cream or gel that you can put in your vagina or pills that you can swallow.

There are a variety of antibiotic medications, but the most popular ones are metronidazole, clindamycin, and tinidazole. The antibiotics kill germs in the vagina.

Another treatment option includes using a capsule of suppositories containing living lactic bacteria. These treatments are tailored to protect the Vagina flora, and they correct the natural balance.

However, there is no sufficient evidence to back up the effectiveness of this method.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459216/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859802/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176826/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4787044/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019544/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/bacterial-vaginosis-beyond-the-basics

Sex Workers in Africa Lack Food for Taking HIV Drugs During Coronavirus Outbreak

Sex Workers in Africa Lack Food for Taking HIV Drugs During Coronavirus Outbreak Image

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, people of all the occupations and professions from across the world are affected. The pandemic has now become a global crisis and threatens in various ways. But specifically, the people of Africa are in the flames who work on the streets to earn their living. Many sex workers from Africa have reported that lockdown due to COIVID-19 has kept almost all of their customers away. So, they have less or even no money to buy the necessary food for their families. 

Mignonne Story


For example, 25 years old Mignonne says that when she doesn’t have food to eat, her HIV antiviral drugs cause weakness, pain, and even nausea. She added that, at times, she even passes out. Mignonne added in her interview that if I don’t take the drugs, I can quickly die.


The same is the case with all the other places in Africa. Unfortunately, Africa has the highest HIV rate as compared to the rest of the world. According to LSHTM research (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), many African countries have excluded sex workers from there social protection programs due to the global pandemic crisis. It makes sex workers as the most marginalized and compromised group.

Even Rwanda is in Danger


Only Rwanda still stands out even in these conditions. The progress in controlling HIV in Rwanda is very praisable. Because it offers antiretroviral therapy to everyone totally free. The records show that the HIV prevalence in Rwanda has been kept at three percent for over a decade. As a result, new cases of HIV infected people are dropping.
But due to the current situation, the health experts have shown their concerns that this progress can drop drastically. Moreover, UNAID has also announced, there is a strong possibility of an HIV drug shortage for the next couple of months.

Official Concerns


A Kenyan coordinator, “Grace Kamau,” said in the webinar regarding sex workers that they are engaging in unsafe sex practices. Now we are not able to access and get the prevention tools and medication that we used to.


The National Association (Supports HIV infected people) coordinator Deborah Mukasekuru said that it is one of the most difficult times. She added the national association is trying to mobilize as much food as it can for the sex workers. But there are too many of them, and it is not possible to reach them all. At this crucial time, the government is not to be blamed because COVID-19 caught everyone unaware.

Conclusion


It is one of the most crucial and challenging times for all sex workers in the world. But Africa, due to its poverty, is at the red line. Critics say that if they do not die of the coronavirus, the hunger will kill them.

References:

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-04/sex-workers-lack-food-for-taking-hiv-drugs-during-covid-19

Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill In Nigeria

Nigerian Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill Image

One of the most significant and most traumatic factors that affect girls and young women disproportionally is undoubtedly sexual assault. But considering the environment and social impact of Nigeria, there is minimal information and facts regarding the subject. 

Statistics about Sexual Harassment in Nigeria


The Pan African Medical Journal study shows the following patterns and stats about the sexual assault in Nigeria.

  • 6.1 percent of males were recorded with the sexual assault cases
  • 93.9 percent of females are usually the victims of sexual assault which is clearly a majority
  • Most of the recorded cases occurred in the day
  • Most of the cases were recorded in the people with the age of fewer than 20 years and unmarried
  • 52 percent of the assailants were found to be known to victims
  • 48.5 percent of the cases happened at assailants’ office or house
  • The physical force was recorded in 29.6 percent of the cases and 31.1 percent of cases recorded with violence 

All of these stats and patterns are acquired by studying the 75 percent of the total cases.

Most Common Sexual Diseases in Nigeria


According to the scientific studies and researches, there are many STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) in Nigeria, but the most common of them all are listed below:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Herpes

Nigerian Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill


Due to the above figure and facts and the increasing rate of STDs in Nigeria, the Nigerian senate has passed the sexual harassment bill to uphold the basic ethical structures, specifically in high schools and universities, because there were many lecturers found in the universities committing sexual harassment.
Now because of the newly passed bill, any person committing sexual harassment crime will be sent to jail for at least two years.
Ahmad Lawan, the senate president, said that the sexual harassment bill is landmark legislation because we want to protect and save the daughters of our nation from the predators. He added that our tertiary institutions must be safe and sound to provide the students with a protective environment, and this bill will ensure it.

There is also the other side of the picture where the students were found accusing teachers of sexual harassment: essentially blackmailing to get better grades. The bill also deals with such students by making sure that in such cases, the students will be suspended.

The bill was first introduced in 2016, but the lawmakers revisited it due to the increasing cases of sexual misconduct in 2018.

After the success of the sexual harassment legislation, the education authorities and universities announced that they would work and cooperate with the government. They said that to ensure the implementation of the law, they will deal with every case by a thorough investigation.

Nigerian students, especially girls, feel very hopeful because it will make things very easy to pursue their careers and to reach their goals.

References:

https://www.kake.com/story/42346538/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/01/africa/nigeria-senate-investigates-harassment/index.html

https://www.wral.com/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill/19179900/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill/ar-BB16uKH7?li=BBnbcA1

How Can Sex Education in Africa Reduce the Spread of STDs?

How Can Sex Education in Africa Reduce the Spread of STDs? Image

Did you know that barely 34% of the younger population is familiar with HIV transmission and prevention? With over 68% of HIV cases living in the sub-Saharan African region, it’s important now more than ever to keep investing in sex education in African schools. 

Children have to be fully acquainted with the importance of avoiding STDs and AIDS-related diseases if they are to live a healthy life. 

The question is, why is sexual education such a crucial program for the younger generation in Africa? How is it going to change their lives? We’ve decided to analyze all the statistical research on sex education in Africa for reducing STDs. 

Sex Education in African Schools 

According to UNESCO, many girls in rural African communities have no idea why they are menstruating nor how they could lead safe and productive lives. 

When the Department of Basic Education in South Africa stated they would expand their Comprehensive Sexuality Education in 2019, plenty of young girls finally got the chance to learn about their bodies. They had the material and opportunities to get a glimpse of the grown-up world. 

However, there is more to this program than it meets the eye. Girls learned about the significance of consent, how their bodies belong to them, and a way to recognize inappropriate behavior that might endanger them sexually. 

Why Do Children in Africa Need Sex Education?

A huge number of children in this region, particularly in rural communities, receive little to no information about sex and relationship. Instead, they make a sudden transition from childhood to adulthood. 

Lack of education has left the younger population vulnerable to sexual exploitation and dangerous behaviors. 

As a result, they’ve been unable to cope with their sexuality or manage STDs, unintended pregnancies, and other health risks. Lack of information and inadequate knowledge has left a huge mark on the African population. 

In fact, over 3.5 million cases of syphilis, 15 million of chlamydia, 16 million gonorrhea, and 30 million of trichomoniasis are all registered in Africa, published the National Library of Medicine. 

How Can Sex Education Help?

The first STD management strategy always starts with knowledge. With the right skills, information, and coping mechanism, the younger population will learn to be fully responsible for their choices and help others live a healthier life. 

With programs such as these, children get to learn about consent, abuse, violence, how to respect values and human rights. Not only will this knowledge empower them, but it will also help them reduce the transmission of STDs and other diseases. 

It’s true that implementing such changes in African communities will be a difficult task. But, it is possible to change the cultural norms and create a healthier environment for the population to grow. 

References

https://en.unesco.org/news/why-comprehensive-sexuality-education-important

https://www.avert.org/global-hiv-and-aids-statistics

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/sex-education-south-african-schools/

https://en.unesco.org/news/why-comprehensive-sexuality-education-important

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12348788/

Sexual Assault and Violence in Africa Is a Serious Problem for Women, Here Is Why

Sexual Assault and Violence in Africa Is a Serious Problem for Women, Here Is Why Image

Sexual assault and STIs are a serious public issue all across Africa. According to the National Library of Medicine, of all the women surveyed, 44% have been sexually assaulted. Some were abused by their relationship partner, while others by people they’ve never met before. 

However, this is not the first time women in Africa have been subjects to abuse. In 2005, 71% of women in Ethiopia and 50% in Tanzania reported being abused by their intimate partners. That’s a huge percentage of the female African population. 

The question is, how these experiences affect women? Does the abuse affect STI rates in the region? We’ve decided to analyze all the statistical research on sexual assaults and STIs and how it’s affecting women in Africa. 

The Impact of Sexual Assaults on Women in Africa

Sexual assaults in Africa goes by many forms, such as:

  • Forced marriage
  • Marital rape
  • Paid dowry for violence
  • Harassment
  • Forced abortion, pregnancy & sterilization
  • Human trafficking and prostitution

These kinds of traumatic experiences leave a lasting impact on women. In many cases, it exposes them to STIs and increases the risk of contracting HIV by 10%. Based on reports in Nigeria, 16% of young girls under 5 years old have contracted STIs after a sexual assault. 

The older women who’ve been assaulted multiple times have a tendency to switch numerous sex partners and are less interested in protecting themselves from STIs, explained the National Library of Medicine. They have a lower chance of using protection during intercourse and are at risk of developing ulcers and other STIs. 

The reason for that is fear. Women who’ve been abused by partners are more likely to be afraid to ask them to use contraception. This kind of behavior has affected STI and HIV rates in the region. As a results, the number of infected individuals has constantly been increasing. 

Why Is This Happening?

Experts believe it is rooted in the culture. Abusers usually perceive their act of violence as a method for solving family problems. They have either been exposed to violence or grew up in homes where violence was prevalent. 

Another reason is to establish dominance. Men demand respect and obedience, which is why they often result in violence as a means to establish control. 

In Africa, sexual violence is a highly widespread phenomenon. It’s embedded in their culture and is used as a method to intimidate the female population. Women in these kinds of societies tolerate a high amount of violence against them. 

The cultural norms put them in a submissive position where they feel inferior to their spouse or intimate partner. Simply put, women are undervalued, unappreciated, and disrespected. They are considered property. 

In a region that approves these crimes, and there is no responsibility taken for such actions, these crimes will only keep happening. 

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15370057/

https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/july-2007/taking-violence-against-women-africa

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/47535023_Sexual_violence_and_conflict_in_Africa_Prevalence_and_potential_impact_on_HIV_incidence