It was a normal sunny day when I was going through my center unit visits. The birth center, popularly known as Kutupalong Registered Camp (RC), was unusually filled with a rowdy gathering of male outside the center and filled with women inside the labor room.
On seeing me, the midwives on duty rushed me inside the center’s labour room only to find a young first-time mother in extreme labour. They confirmed that the mother’s situation was dire, complicated and life threatening.
Women in South Africa give birth to 2.3 children on average translating to a population growth of 1.6 per cent. While South Africa’s fertility rate is substantially lower than those of other African countries (in Ethiopia, for example, women have an average of 4.2 children), it is also considerably higher than in countries of the Global North where most countries show rates of below two children. At the same time, teenage pregnancies are prevalent with nearly 7 per cent of 15 to 19-year old girls giving birth (in comparison, the UK rate is at just over 2 per cent).
Zanzibar, Tanzania: As a UN Volunteer working with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Zanzibar, I am involved in activities on sexual and reproductive health, working closely with government institutions. Looking for new innovative methods to raise the awareness of young people is one of the things I have been working on during my assignment with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme. Theatre is a good way to raise awareness of women-related issues.