Women’s Health Education In West Africa
Improvements in women’s health are essential to building stronger economies and achieving internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability. By empowering women, health 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 women’s health 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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Infertility in the Gambia
WHO demographic studies from 2004 have shown that in sub-Sharan Africa, more than 30% of women aged 25-49 suffer from secondary infertility, the inability to conceive after an initial pregnancy. Thus effecting tens of thousands of women in the Gambia.
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The Impact of Infertility On Women In Gambia
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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Dimbayaa – What we do
Dimbayaa is committed to provide all the primary and ancillary services related to infertility counseling, diagnosis and treatment to the people of The Gambia. We strongly believe education and prevention should also be part of our program.
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Women’s Health Care Volunteer Jobs In Africa
If you are a women’s health care professional looking for an overseas career break or a medical student looking for a gap year placement or if you are just looking for volunteer medical work or voluntary jobs in Africa, Dimbayaa would like to hear from you.
We are looking for enthusiastic and capable volunteer teachers and lecturers to train, motivate and inspire a growing network of Gambian women’s health advisors that deliver our women’s health and infertility prevention educational and outreach programs in local schools, hospitals and villages in The Gambia.
Dimbayaa are raising awareness of women’s health issues and striving to improve access to health care information and services for the women of The Gambia in the fields of reproductive health and infertility. Read more on Women’s Health Volunteer jobs in the Gambia, West Africa
The Kanyaleng Women’s Groups of The Gambia
The Kanyaleng are women are women who all know the agony of infertility or child mortality. Kanyaleng are excellent singers, dancers and drummers and are known for their bold acting and ridicule.
Kanyaleng membership is a useful coping strategy. The solidarity of women of the same village or community, united by their struggles to meet standard of womanhood as mothers, and the pressure society puts on them, create strong support networks. Furthermore membership helps them improve their long term status, both social and economic.
In the 1990s Kanyaleng gained an additional role initiated by the the ‘World Banks Women in Development (WID) Program, when NGO and government led programs involved them in educational projects, educating the people on subjects such as HIV prevention, maternal nutrition, family planning and water recourse management that ran nation-wide. The Kanyaleng, outspoken, articulate and experienced performers, proved very successful in delivering the message that was otherwise sometimes difficult to understand for people in the rural area’s of the Gambia. This role as ‘Traditional Communicators provided the Kanyaleng not only with some extra income, but it also helped their status as productive members of society.
In the future we hope to work very closely with the Kanyaleng in our educational outreach programs that will cover infertility and related topics such as FMG, STD’s and child mariage.
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