A red revolution of a different kind is flowing across Africa, to the benefit of more than half of its people. The continent’s nations have begun to work together on a widespread challenge that, until three years ago, had not been tackled head on. It was considered a ‘private’ matter – until the wider consequences were made apparent.
When Isirimu Margret got pregnant at 16, her hope to continue her studies vanished. She dropped out of school, married her partner and had a child. So when the chance to obtain family planning counselling arose at her local health facility, a programme supported by UNFPA, she chose an implant that would last three years. 
In her four years at Sena Health Centre, midwife Goretti Adhiambo has seen too many lives lost to complications in pregnancy and childbirth: “We provide all the basic maternal health services at the health centre including antenatal care, but complicated cases have to be referred to the mainland hospital for specialized care.”

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