Women’s Health In The Gambia
The Gambia is the smallest yet most densely populated country on the African continent. The UNDP’s Human Development Report for 2010 ranks the Gambia 151st out of 169 countries on the Human Development Index.
Essential to building stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability is women’s empowerment.
By empowering women, health status and income levels in households and communities can improve.
One of the priority area’s for empowering women is to improve and enhance access to sexual and reproductive health care information and services to address the issues such as female genital mutilation, sexually transmitted diseases, child mortality, and also infertility.
The Gambia is a developing country figuring among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with tropical diseases predominating. Malaria, Acute Respiratory Tract Infections and Diarrheal diseases are among the most important causes of morbidity and mortality.
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Sexual and reproductive health involves topics such as female genital mutilation, sexually transmitted diseases, child mortality, and also infertility. Infertility prevention and care often remain neglected public health issues.
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The Impact of Infertility
In the Gambia, the inability to conceive is often considered a personal tragedy as well as a curse for the couple, impacting on the entire family and local community. In addition to the personal grief, infertility can lead to stigma, economic hardship, social isolation, or even violence.
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Infertility is often thought to be caused by a curse or interference of spirits. Infertility is not considered a medical problem but causes, and therefore also remedies, are sought in the spiritual world. These may include prayer, spiritual healing, and herbal remedies.
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Fertility care, if available is very basic in the Gambia. Conventional methods of infertility treatment involve the surgical repair of blocked fallopian tubes, success rates of which is doubtful, and blind hormonal stimulation.
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