Contraceptive Use in Africa

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The Effects of Knowledgeable Contraceptive Use on
Sub-Saharan Africans
Sub-Saharan Africans have been and are currently riddled with a plague of unexpected pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. These diseases include but are not limited to AIDS, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Syphilis, and HPV (Montgomery). A majority of the individuals enduring these afflictions are relatively young males and females with little sexual and academic education. These young individuals typically start having children at a rapid rate and are only stopped when rendered infertile or killed by one of the many sexually transmitted diseases acquired through unprotected intercourse (Roberts). These self-perpetuating cycles of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies are strong contributing factors to problems of hunger, poverty, birthrate, and minimal female empowerment. Calamities such as these are not going to solve themselves; they need attention (Montgomery). Afflictions such as unexpected pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and the problems associated with them could be vastly reduced, if not eradicated, with cooperative spousal knowledge and use of contraceptives.

High rates of unintended pregnancies and HIV infections have been, for a long time, contributed to the lack of availability of contraceptives. Peter Cherutich and a group of his associates conducted a study in Sub-Saharan Africa regarding the availability and usage of contraceptives by females in the corresponding regions. The fifteen hundred women survey concluded that only twenty seven percent of the women had ever used any form of contraception. Of the remaining seventy three percent about five hundred of the women had access to some type of contraception but declined them due to cultural taboos and religious beliefs. Upon the conclusion of the study the participants were given the opportunity to take blood test, which revealed that over five hundred of the women were HIV positive (Cherutich). This study and studies like it define the need for contraceptives and adequate education regarding them.

The availability of contraceptives in Sub-Saharan Africa is constantly increasing due to the efforts of several foreign relief groups, but pregnancies and STD’s haven’t reduced at paralleling rates (Hubacher). The current methods of contraceptive dispersal in Sub-Saharan Africa are mostly that of foreign Anti-AIDS Campaigns. These dispersal methods are impractical in that the locals are given various forms of contraception and are then set on their way without any knowledge of how to correctly use them. This foreign intervention has brought about a sense of false security to the individuals using the contraceptives. Teens in the areas of contraceptive pushing campaigns are getting the appropriate materials to potentially prevent sexually transmitted diseases and things to that effect but without the knowledge of how to use the products they are receiving, the contraceptives are useless (Cleland). Anonymous surveys have been conducted by United States research groups on the teens using the contraceptives being supplied, to determine the current dispersal methods effectiveness. The surveys have shown that since the introduction of the contraceptives teens have this invincible mentality in that they feel that they are immune to STD’s and pregnancy. With this new “shield of invincibility” males and females alike have become much more promiscuous and engage in sexual activities with many more partners (Cleland). This type of intervention is a perceived solution to unexpected pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases but it is actually perpetuating the cycle of diseases and unexpected pregnancies. The responsibilities of correctly using contraceptives are primarily that of the individuals partaking in the act but the distributers of the contraceptives have responsibilities as well (Sullivan). With more effort from both parties regarding the basic...
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