As COVID-19 continues to spread in Africa, there are concerns over its impact on women and girls, with vulnerabilities feared to worsen as the pandemic overwhelms health systems.
Although overall in the African Region, women account for around 40% of COVID-19 cases, this ranges from 35% in some countries to over 55% in South Africa.
Women are disproportionately affected by lockdowns and this is resulting in a reduced access to health services," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.
"We are working with governments and partners to find ways to continue to deliver essential services safely, including the provision of personal protective equipment to health workers, many of whom are nurses and are women," said Dr Moeti.
WHO works to improve the health of women and girls in Africa by developing guidance on the implications of gender, gender-based violence, and access to sexual and reproductive health.