East, Central, and Southern Africa

East, Central, and Southern Africa

Sexual and reproductive health indicators vary widely by country in east, central, and southern Africa (ECSA), but generally are weak. Maternal mortality is high in the region and maternal mortality ratios range from 224 deaths per 100,000 live births (Zambia) to 789 deaths per 100,000 live births (South Sudan). Women and girls in the ECSA region face barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services and modern contraceptive prevalence rates range from just 2.5% (Somalia) to 45.3% (Malawi).

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues affecting women and girls in the ECSA region include unwanted pregnancies, complications, and mortality from unsafe abortions, and high rates of sexual and gender-based violence. There is a particular need to focus on the SRHR needs of adolescent girls in the ECSA region as adolescent birth rates are high and the youth population is growing rapidly. SRHR challenges in East, Central, and Southern Africa have been exacerbated by a refugee crisis, ongoing conflict, and climate change (which has caused extreme El Niño-induced droughts throughout the region). To respond to these challenges, CARE supports a variety of SRHR programs across the region.


CARE's SRHR Projects in East, Central, and Southern Africa Include: 

Abdiboru (Ethiopia)
This project aims to address structural determinants (agency, government institutions, and social norms) that act as barriers to empowerment in order to improve health, education, and economic outcomes for adolescent girls.

Community Score Card for PMTCT (Malawi)
This project aims to improve key prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) outcomes including adherence and retention in treatment and early infant diagnosis of HIV while increasing dialogue between consumers of PMTCT services, providers delivering services, and government officials providing oversight of health services.

Joint Programme (Burundi)
This project aims to reach 1.1 million adolescents and youth (ages 10-24) in Burundi with quality and comprehensive SRH information and services.

TESFA (Ethiopia)
This project aimed to improve SRH and economic outcomes for young, ever-married adolescent girls (ages 10-19).

TAMANI (Tanzania)
This project aims to empower regional and district level health planners to effectively plan for, and deliver respectful and skilled reproductive health care, improve the skills of health care workers to effectively manage labor and delivery, and support communities to address local barriers that impede access to sexual and reproductive health care, especially for women and girls.

Vijana Juu (DR Congo)
This project aimed to improve quality of and access to reproductive health services for adolescents while increasing their agency and capacity to create positive change in their lives and communities.


Other Regions with SRHR Programs:

SRHR Location: East/Central/Southern Africa


CARE has SRHR programs in Bangladesh, Nepal, and India.

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Momtaz, a community health worker in Bangladesh, has conducted 30-35 deliveries since she started working as a midwife

SRHR Location: East/Central/Southern Africa

West Africa

CARE has SRHR programs in Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Mali.

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In Niger, little Abdou is only three months old but shows strong signs of malnutrition.