South Africa has extremely high maternal mortality levels. This is true when compared with developed countries as well as other developing countries.
According to the World Health Organisation, for every 100,000 live births in the country in 2015, 138 women died due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. In Sweden, fewer than five women die for every 100,000 live births. In Brazil, the estimate is 44 women for every 100,000 live births.
Launched four years ago, the two clinical trials, known as ASPIRE and The Ring Study, set out to determine how safe and effective the ring was in prevention of HIV infection in women. The ring, which is used for a month at a time, contains an antiretroviral drug called dapivirine that acts by blocking HIV from multiplying.
The studies enrolled close to 4500 women aged 18 to 45 in South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Each study found that the ring helps reduce the risk of HIV infection in women. In ASPIRE, the ring reduced the risk of HIV infection by 27% overall. In The Ring Study, infections were reduced by 31% overall.
I met Jabulile Tlhabane, 57, in a small woman-owned restaurant on a busy road in Alexandra Township located about 60 minutes outside Johannesburg depending on the time of day and traffic. Alexandra, or Alex as the locals call it, is home to over a million people even though its resident capacity is intended to be capped at 100,000. That means stresses are rife on Alexandra’s overcrowded citizens from a lack of adequate health facilities, increasing teenage pregnancies, largely unreported violence against women, drug abuse, and a general absence of jobs and opportunities.
Tlhabane is a longtime member of Rebecca’s Well, a small nonprofit that provides help and healing for women and girls in need as well as microfinance and enterprising skills. I met with Tlhabane to learn more about their work. Rebecca’s Well was started by a Boston woman, Sheila Wise Rowe, who now calls South Africa home with her family.
To kick off World Health Worker Week (April 5 – 11) we are sharing photos and stories of some of the health workers we’ve met around the world over the years who work tirelessly to keep women, children, and families healthy and most importantly alive.
In the sub-Saharan and Asian countries where we have met these health workers, many of the ailments they treat every day can cause severe illness in their patients and even death. That is why it is important to not only provide the much-needed resources and support health workers need to do their jobs effectively and train many more health workers, it’s also important to thank them for the work they do. That is why World Health Worker Week was started — to celebrate health workers, but also to acknowledge the challenges they face every day and help rally the world’s global health community, civil society, and governments to fix those health worker challenges.
The first time I saw open defecation was in a slum in Delhi. I was taken aback. I had always heard about open defecation, but until that point I had never seen it and couldn’t imagine it happening in an overly crowded urban area. It was also at that moment that I knew I had to learn as much as possible about the ways in which people use the bathroom, if they have one at all.
2.5 billion people lack improved sanitation and 1 billion people do not have access to a bathroom and must resort to the undignified practice of open defecation. There are 7 billion people on the planet.
Women who must defecate in the open and who also have to use the community toilets are at increased risk of violence and rape.
When I visit communities and families in low-income countries I always look for toilets and latrines to see the conditions in which people relieve themselves. Below are some photos of toilets I took in India, Ethiopia, Philippines, and South Africa.
This post was originally published on Impatient Optimists. I met Jabulile Tlhabane, 57, in a small woman-owned restaurant on a busy road in Alexandra Township located about 60 minutes outside Johannesburg depending on the time of day and traffic. Alexandra, or Alex as the locals call it, is home to over a million people even though its resident capacity is intended to be capped at 100,000. That means … Continue reading Women Helping Women in Johannesburg’s Townships
Today on International Women’s Day we honor all of the women and girls we’ve met throughout our travels! Want to celebrate International Women’s Day in an impactful way? Read 4 Easy, But Impactful Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day. PHILIPPINES ETHIOPIA BRAZIL INDIA ZAMBIA TANZANIA KENYA SOUTH AFRICA Continue reading [Photos] Honoring Women and Girls We’ve Met Around the World
Yesterday World Toilet Day was recognized to bring global awareness about the millions of people worldwide who do not have access to a toilet. In fact, 40% of the world’s population has to use the bathroom in the open and spends billions of hours searching for a place to relieve themselves. WaterAid, along with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council recently published a new … Continue reading [Photos] Communal Toilets + New Study About Women, Girls and Sanitation
I have been fortunate to visit health posts and family planning clinics in a handful of countries. One of the things I always ask to see while visiting are family planning kits used for educational purposes for clients. Some of the kits have been fancy, others have been fairly rudimentary, but they all serve the same purpose: educating women about their options to space or … Continue reading [Photos] Family Planning Kits from Ethiopia, Zambia, South Africa
They say you’ve never been to Soweto if you haven’t seen the Orlando Towers that can be viewed from all corners of the massive urban neighborhood filled with over fifty townships in Johannesburg. The Orlando Towers are a symbol of racial discrimination that was systemic until the fall of apartheid in the early 1990s. The coal towers powered the white area of Johannesburg in the … Continue reading [Photos] A Week in Johannesburg
Building global connections both online and offline is the cornerstone of Mom Bloggers for Social Good. Tomorrow I, along with Social Good Mom and Global Team of 200 member Elizabeth Atalay (@elizabethatalay, Documama), will travel to Johannesburg to meet Social Good Moms partners as well as meet fellow Social Good Moms who live in South Africa. It’s going to be a great week, full of … Continue reading Why We’re Heading to South Africa Tomorrow #SocialGoodMomsJoburg
I am pleased to announce Mom Bloggers for Social Good’s second insight trip! It is slated for this summer with Elizabeth Atalay (documama.org), blogger, Social Good Mom, and member of the Global Team of 200. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks. Our first insight trip to Delhi, India just wrapped with Nicole Melancon, also a Social Good Mom and member of the … Continue reading Announcing: New Insight Trip for Summer 2013
Last week I was in India with Social Good Mom and Global Team of 200 member Nicole Melancon of Third Eye Mom. We kept up with all of our photos, videos, and posts on a frequently-updated Tumblr, SocialGoodMomsIndia.tumblr.com. We will continue to update the microsite with more multimedia from our visits with Protsahan, Pratham India, Save the Children and WaterAid. Above is our visit to … Continue reading Update on Our First Insight Trip to India
As I have mentioned before one of the cornerstones of Mom Bloggers for Social Good is making global connections both online and offline, at home and abroad. While in Delhi with Nicole Melancon we met with Vandana Mahajan Khemka of Mumsphere. It was wonderful meeting a fellow mom blogger while in India showing that connections that are made online are easily translated into real world meetings. … Continue reading Meeting a Fellow Mom Blogger in India
Building global connections both online and offline is the cornerstone of Mom Bloggers for Social Good. Next week I, along with Social Good Mom and Global Team of 200 member Nicole Melancon (@thirdeyemom, Third Eye Mom), will travel to Delhi, India to meet some of our partners as well as meet fellow Social Good Moms who live in India. It’s going to be a great … Continue reading Why We’re Headed to Delhi, India Next Week