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The Declaration of Alma-Ata formally adopted Primary Health Care PHC as the means for providing a comprehensive universal equitable and affordable healthcare service for all countries It was unanimously adopted by all WHO member countries at Alma-Ata in the former Soviet Republic in September 1978 This declaration however failed to reach its goal of Health for All by the year 2000 It has especially failed the women of Sub-Saharan Africa Every year millions of women and female children are subjected to the inhumane practice of Female Genital Mutilation FGM are at risk of contracting HIVAIDS and face the traditional inequality practices of Sub-Saharan Africa The provision of PHC by governments in the sub-Saharan region have failed these women by not adequately providing education and funding to counter balance the social economic and cultural beliefs of the people Improving womens health requires strong and sustained government commitments favourable policy environments and well targeted resources The support of the global community is needed to sustain the fight against such practices as FGM exposure to HIVAIDS virus and preventing preventable diseases Firstly the women of the Sub-Saharan Africa region experience disproportionate poverty low social status and a reproductive role that exposes them to health risks and preventable deaths At least 90 of women in Djibouti Egypt Eritrea Mali Sierra Leone and Somalia have undergone FGM operations Tinker Finn Epp 2000 P27 FGM is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural andor non therapeutic reasons The procedure is rarely carried out by anyone with health care training and often results in haemorrhage tetanus and infection Long term consequences include scarring urinary tract infections UTIs urinary incontinence and painful intercourse Tinker Finn Epp 2000 P28 The leading reasons for these practices are that they are necessary as a religious requirement initiation into their group cleanliness and health guarantee virginity family honour moral standards and marriage
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