Lockdowns mean millions of women can’t reach birth control – Nehanda Radio

By | AP |

The callers were in tears. One by one, in homes across rural had a pleading question: When would return?

Lockdowns imposed to curb the ’ spread have put millions women in , and elsewhere out reach and sexual and reproductive .

Confined to their homes with their husbands and others, they face unwanted pregnancies and idea of when they can reach the outside again.

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In these uncertain times, women “have to lock down their uterus,” , Zimbabwe for Marie Stopes International, told . “But is no way in a rural area.”

Eighteen in Africa have imposed lockdowns, to the .

but essential or those seeking or must for weeks, maybe longer. , the country in sub- to impose a , has extended it for two weeks, a possible sign of to come.

Even where family planning remains available, providers say many women fear venturing out and being beaten by forces and accused of defying the restrictions.

Meanwhile, , the key to reaching rural women, have largely stopped to avoid drawing crowds and the of workers spreading the from one to another.

The , or IPPF, in a new says more than one in five member clinics around have closed because of the and related restrictions. More than 5,000 clinics across 64 countries have closed.

Most are in Asia and Africa, but Latin and have seen hundreds of closures as well.

From to to , IPPF members say they have scaled down testing and -based and face of contraceptives.

“They have needs that cannot wait,” IPPF of women in a statement, pleading for from national governments to provide to allow for intimate care.

For most , the coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and . But for some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and .

In Europe, 100 non-governmental on Wednesday called on governments to ensure reproductive health services during the pandemic, saying many facilities have sharply reduced them or shut down.

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