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Political Instability, Humanitarian Crises Reversing Maternal Health Gains In Africa, Health Experts Warn

“Political instability, civil strife and humanitarian crises in Africa have over the past decades reversed countless maternal health development gains on the continent, health experts warn,” Inter Press Service reports. “‘African countries with good maternal health statistics are generally those that have long-term political stability. This shows that stability is a fundamental basis for development. If it doesn’t exist, other priorities overtake,’ Lucien Kouakou, regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF) in Africa, told IPS,” the news service writes.

“‘Regions like West and Central Africa, that experience a lot of political instability, have the lowest indicators for maternal health on the continent, despite the fact that most of them are rich in terms of natural resources,’ Kouakou explained,” according to IPS, which adds, “As a result, more than 550 women die in childbirth every day in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the WHO, compared to five deaths per day in high-income countries.” The news service discusses access to health care and family planning services, and the link between health and poverty, writing, “As long as African nations remain poor, investments in maternal, sexual and reproductive health will remain minimal, experts say” (Palitza, 3/21).