Emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks: Implications for women's reproductive health and rights in resource-poor settings

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This century is witnessing dramatic changes in the health needs of the world's populations. The double burden of infectious and chronic diseases constitutes major causes of morbidity and mortality. Over the last two decades, there has been a rise in infectious diseases, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS), the H1N1 pandemic influenza, the Ebolavirus and the Covid-19 virus. These diseases have rapidly spread across the world and have reminded us of the unprecedented connectivity that defines our modern civilization. Though some countries have made substantial progress toward improving global surveillance for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), the vast majority of Low-and Middle-income Countries (LMICs) with fragile health systems and various system-related bottlenecks remain vulnerable to outbreaks and, as such, experience dramatic social and economic consequences when they are reported. Lessons learned from past outbreaks suggest that gender inequalities are common across a range of health issues relating to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), with women being particularly disadvantaged, partially due to the burden placed on them. Though these countries are striving to improve their health systems and be more inclusive to this vulnerable group, the national/global outbreaks have burdened the overall system and thus paralyzed normal services dedicated to the delivery of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services. In this paper, we discuss the global commitments to SRH, the impact of the EIDs on the LMICs, the failure in the delivery of SRH services, and the strategies for successful implementation of recovery plans that must address the specific and differentiated needs of women and girls in resource-poor settings.




Chattu, V. K., & Yaya, S. (2020, April 1). Emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks: Implications for women’s reproductive health and rights in resource-poor settings. Reproductive Health. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-020-0899-y

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