It is women and children across developing countries who suffer most from the shocks and stresses to health systems. In South Sudan — a country ravaged by conflicts — limited infrastructure, lack of health information, and severe shortages of health personnel contribute to high levels of maternal and child mortality. Outbreaks of infectious disease and epidemics have similar consequences — the impact of Ebola on maternal and child health in West Africa is one example.
This is one of five cross-cutting issues that have emerged from early research findings on large-scale land acquisitions in Africa. Read about how researchers are working with communities to increase their ability to protect their rights.
Despite recent progress, as a region, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of maternal, infant, and child mortality in the world. From 2009 to 2012, researchers led by Niger’s Laboratoire d'études et de recherches sur les dynamiques sociales et le développement local (LASDEL) analyzed government efforts in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to increase access to health care by removing user fees.
There is ample evidence that addressing gender inequalities and empowering women are vital to meeting the challenges of improving food and nutrition security, and enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty.