Sex Education for the Real World…

 


How El Salvador is Killing Its Pregnant Women

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Posted February 9, 2016 by Kimani in Infection Section
Say It With A Condom

How El Salvador is Killing Its Pregnant Women

I was cruising my daily medical journal news, and came across an article about the Zika virus and El Salvador’s epidemic outbreak. Don’t get me wrong, I was saddened by the photographs of the microcephaly – stricken babies. I was, however, disheartened by the effects on El Salvador’s women even more.

El Salvador Killing Its Pregnant

While the country’s officials are encouraging (cough – guilting) its women to avoid pregnancy for the next two years, they’re making it sound like a cake walk. Unfortunately, we’re all flesh and love (and lust) and hormones and know that life doesn’t work in such a way. Not only is birth control expensive and almost unattainable – abortions are also illegal within the country. So much so, that women can be jailed for having a miscarriage – since they are often mistaken for “illegal” abortions. How scary is that?

So, now you’re wondering how El Salvador is killing its pregnant women, right? Well, think about it.

A woman has been told to abstain, but doesn’t. This woman can’t afford condoms or birth control pills and decides to risk it. Or even worse, what if the woman who is raped? She gets pregnant as a result – because that often happens with unprotected sex. Her family is already poor and can’t afford another mouth. She tries to abort the child on her own.

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

How about another scenario. During pregnancy, a woman finds herself miscarrying or delivering early. She knows that her medical emergency may be deemed illegal, so she risks her life and takes care of the miscarriage at home.  Not only is there very little chance of saving the baby, but her life is in danger with every pint of blood she may lose.

Zika El Salvador

Reading the articles led me to wonder what the Salvadoran government’s goal is when restricting the very things that could help beat the Zika epidemic. Is it religious? Moral? Perhaps it’s politically driven; similar to the constant Women’s rights battle we face in America. One thing I know for sure, is that it is killing – and will continue to be how El Salvador is killing its pregnant women. They need more than shame and excuses as to why they should be chaste. The Salvadoran (and countless other women in such countries) need sex education and contraception.

How El Salvador Is Killing Its Pregnant Women

Now, knowing that Zika has been sexually transmitted in the United States – things are getting even more real.

So, what can we do? 

Well, the options are limited as research continues on Zika virus. Here are a few tips to help combat Zika:

Bug Spray:

Provide insect repellent to our friends and family who may be in Zika affected areas. Bug spray can be expensive in these countries, so natives won’t always consider it an option. Think about getting together with other friends/family to send a barrel or care package down to relatives.

Zika El Salvador

Stay Ahead of the Bugs: 

Educate them on the importance of eliminating standing water; pour out laundry buckets, keep outhouses closed, etc.

Netting over beds and cribs are super helpful, since the Zika mosquito is known to strike at night.

Is your family at risk for Zika? Check out this map. 

Send Contraceptives:

It may sound crazy, but this is a great way to help combat Zika as well as STD’s and unwanted pregnancy. Visiting family in the Caribbean? Pack some condoms and leave them with family. No, don’t hand them to Abuela – but think about your younger cousins or older uncles who could utilize them.

Not visiting anytime soon? Consider ordering condoms and mailing them online if postal delivery is an option. Many companies like Sir Richard’s and Sustain ships worldwide. Oh, and show them this video, just in case.

While we “wait” for our countries to step up – let’s show them how it’s done.

Resources:

NY Times 

The Centers for Disease Control 




About the Author

Kimani

A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

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