oa South African Health Review - Sexual and reproductive health and rights : reflections on the Millennium Development Goals

Volume 2010, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



Considerable progress has been made in expanding access to health services through strong political leadership and development of policies, guidelines and legislation. However, South Africans still face challenges and obstacles in accessing comprehensive treatment, prevention and care for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), family planning and contraception, pregnancy, delivery, psychosocial support and counselling. Major challenges lie in ensuring that guidelines are implemented, that standard protocols are followed and that health-care worker performance is improved and monitored.

In order to fulfil the rights of all South Africans to equal access to health care and life-saving prevention and treatment programmes, evidence-based interventions, the provision of comprehensive and holistic care, optimal therapeutic care and SRH services need to be strengthened. The strengthening of SRH services also entails integrating reproductive health with other services and providing guidelines for implementation.

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