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We look into how COVID-19 has affected the prioritisation of resources, such as reproductive health services. 

In Tanzania, young women and men feel discouraged from collecting contraception from health facilities because of coronavirus infection fears and social stigma.

“It hasn’t been easy accessing family planning or any sexual reproductive health services, because of all the panic and all the tension over COVID-19,” Aisha Matiko, from youth advocacy network Restless Development, in Tanzania, tells Africa Science Focus.

Reporter Sarah Natoolo visits a cancer treatment centre in Uganda and hears how patients are struggling to access treatment. Patients and doctors have been unable to travel to meet appointments due to lockdowns.

Josephine Ogiyo has breast cancer. She and fellow patients have been forced to sleep outside the institute, in the country’s capital Kampala.

“We are sleeping under the veranda,” she tells Africa Science Focus. “If it is raining we have to stand up. We have nothing, no clothes and no blankets.”

“We only have one cancer treatment centre in the whole country,” says Uganda Cancer Society executive director Paul Ebusu. “When the lockdown happened, you can imagine that all the patients across the country were actually stuck, so there has been a lot of distress among patients.” 

Africa Science Focus, with Selly Amutabi.

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This programme was funded by the European Journalism Centre, through the European Development Journalism Grants programme, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation