In South Sudan, opposition to family planning exacerbates reproductive health needs
WAU, South Sudan – The need for reproductive health care remains overwhelming in South Sudan. Even before the current humanitarian crisis erupted in December of last year, the country had one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. And now, more than 1.1 million people internally displaced by violence, conditions have significantly deteriorated.
The country does not have nearly enough health professionals to meet the needs of adolescents and women. Some of the UNFPA-supported clinics operating in displacement camps see more than 40 births a week.
Access to basic reproductive health information and services – including voluntary family planning – would reduce the country’s staggering number of maternal deaths. It would also help bring down the high infant mortality rate.
Yet there remains stiff resistance. Rumours and misconceptions about contraceptives are widespread, and many men are opposed to family planning.
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