In the last decade, South Africa has made significant progress in reducing child and maternal mortality rates. Although progress has been made in improving levels of maternal and child morbidity and mortality, it is important to indicate that
Implementation of the programmes intended to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) is a major challenge, particularly in developing countries. Despite the controversies about Nevirapine (NVP) resistance, safety and efficacy, it is still widely acclaimed and used in most resource-limited countries because it is affordable, easy-to-use and practical. This study identifies the gaps in NVP use for PMTCT in a rural setting, where almost 42% of pregnant women have no access to healthcare facilities and deliver at home, with the support of traditional birth assistants or family members. As a result, many rural HIV-positive pregnant women deliver without the opportunity of PMTCT therapy provided by ante-natal clinics.
In Africa, as in many parts of the world, adolescent reproductive health is a controversial issue for policy makers and programme planners. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to HIV and AIDS and to a host of other problems such as sexually transmitted infection, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortions, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation and unsafe circumcision. Yet many countries don't have adolescent health policies and much remains to be done to ensure that adolescents can access appropriate sexual and reproductive health services.
Mental health promotion strives to improve mental health through developing ways of adjusting and coping with challenges. These strategies are at the heart of human development and can strengthen social and economic outcomes, and are especially important in low to middle income countries where hardship is common, and where the emphasis has been solely on care and treatment of people with mental illness.