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Nana Oye advocates for advancement of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Africa

Nana Oye

Former Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection and human rights lawyer, Nana Oye Bampoe Addo, has underscored the urgent need for collective action to address the complex challenges facing sexual and reproductive health in Africa. Delivering the keynote address at the 11th African Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in Rabat, Morocco, on the theme; “Advancing the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Young People in Africa,” Nana Oye reflected on the progress made over the past three decades and acknowledged the advancements in maternal mortality rates and contraceptive prevalence rates across the continent.

However, she emphasised that Africa still lags behind the rest of the world in reproductive health indicators, urging for intensified efforts to bridge the gap.

Challenges and Recommendations.

Nana Oye highlighted several challenges impeding progress in sexual and reproductive health, including the prevalence of unsafe abortions, inadequate legal frameworks, and socio-cultural barriers. She stressed the importance of adopting regional and national regulations for Assisted Reproductive Technology and addressing deep-rooted socio-cultural norms.
Moreover, Nana Oye emphasised the critical role of research in informing policy and programming decisions. She called for the collection of gender-sensitive and youth-oriented data to guide strategic interventions effectively.

 

Call to Action
Nana Oye underscored the need for sustained action and increased political commitment to advance sexual and reproductive health in Africa and called upon all stakeholders to prioritise gender-sensitive resource allocation, leverage technology for improved healthcare access, and advocate for policy reforms at all levels.

“My scorecard for Africa on sexual and reproductive health is that; yes, we lag behind the rest of the world, yes, we have made some progress, yes, there is more work ahead, yes, we know what needs to be done, yes, not enough has been done, and yes, let’s do it together for women and youth of Africa,” Nana Oye remarked.

The conference concluded with a renewed commitment to advancing sexual and reproductive health rights across Africa, with delegates pledging to implement concrete actions to address the identified challenges. The week-long conference served as a pivotal platform for dialogue, collaboration, and collective action towards achieving comprehensive sexual and reproductive health for all in Africa.

The conference, held from February 26 to March 2, 2024, was organised under the high patronage of His Royal Majesty King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco and saw the participation of 650 delegates from 40 countries.

The event was graced by esteemed dignitaries, including the First Ladies of the Central African Republic and Zambia, H.E. Brigitte Touadera and Ms. Mutinta Hichilema, who officially opened the conference. Notable remarks were delivered by the Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

By: Isaac Yeboah

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