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Senegal

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In Senegal, you can purchase some forms of contraception, such as pills and condoms, without a prescription at pharmacies. You'll find a variety of contraceptive options available in the country. However, the overall rate of contraceptive usage remains low for Senegalese women. You can obtain emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription at pharmacies as well. You can receive STI tests at clinics in the city. There is a nationwide HPV vaccination pilot programs but there are no nationwide PrEP programs yet. Regarding menstrual products, you should be able to find pads and, in larger cities like Dakar, you can find tampons. Menstrual cups seem very difficult to find, so they should be purchased online. In Senegal, women receive 14 weeks of maternity leave with 100% of wages covered. Regarding abortion, the law has been described as "restrictive and unclear." While there may be some (debatably) legal reasons for abortion, these laws are very unclear and require lengthy paperwork. As a result, Senegalese women almost always resort to the underground abortion networks for obtain abortions. However, many of these providers are unsafe and untrained, so one should exercise extreme caution if considering this route.

OVERVIEW

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Senegal, you can purchase birth control pills without a prescription.[1] According to a 2015 report, 18.1% of women in Senegal (who are married/in unions and of reproductive age) use any form of contraception, including traditional methods. The most common forms of contraception were injectables (6.5%), the pill (5.3%) and implants (2.8%). Traditional methods, like withdrawal (0.1%) and the rhythm method (0.4%) weren't very common. The report also found that 30% of Senegalese women had unmet family planning needs.[2]

Overall, Senegal has one of the lowest rates of contraceptive use in the world. It also has one of the highest birth rates (five births per woman).[3] This can be partially attributed to social, cultural and religious factors. Senegal is a Muslim-majority country where men sometimes take multiple wives. In this environment, women are typically expected to have many children, and contraception is not highly common, especially in rural areas. Family planning decisions are usually left to men (e.g. husbands and imams) without significant input from women. Furthermore, contraception is often viewed as un-Islamic and a product of European interference in Senegalese affairs. This is compounded by the fact that most family planning programs in Senegal are funded by international donors.[4]

However, Senegalese women are beginning to take a more active role in their health decisions. With the help of radio announcements, community health workers and friend's advice, women are increasingly seeking out contraceptives on their own. Furthermore, there is some religious support for birth spacing. While the Quran does advocate that women have many children, some Senegalese imams also point that the Quran supports birth spacing..[5]

For more information, here is a video about efforts to introduce contraception to rural women in Senegal.

Notice: In Senegal, homosexuality is criminalized and condoms (along with text messages and other everyday things) have used as "evidence" of male homosexuality by authorities. Women have been arrested for homosexuality as well. For more details, click here.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can legally purchase birth control pills at pharmacies without a prescription. Some of the pills you can expect to see are Lo-Femenal, Microval, Ovrette and Roselle.
  • If you want a contraceptive implant, you can expect to see Jadelle and Norplant.
  • If you want a contraceptive shot/injectable, you can find Depo-Prodasone and Depo-Provera.

Costs[edit]

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Senegal, you can purchase emergency contraception (the morning after pill) without a prescription.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Senegal, you can find progestin-only emergency contraception (the morning after pill). For these pills, you should take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex: NorLevo 1.5mg (available from a pharmacist without a prescription)[6]
  • For this progestin-only EC, you should take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex: Duet (available from a pharmacist without a prescription)[7]
  • If you cannot access dedicated emergency contraception, you can use regular oral contraceptives (birth control pills) as EC. To do this, you can take progestin-only pills, like Ovrette (take 40 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You can also take Microlut or Microval (take 50 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). You can also take combined progestin-estrogen pills but, for these pills, you must remember that, in 28-day packs, only the first 21 pills can be used. Of these pills, you can take Eugynon, Neogynon or Ovral (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 2 more pills 12 hours later). You can also take Lo-Femenal or Microgynon-30 (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later).[8] This information was found on the Princeton EC website, so refer to that website for more details.

Costs[edit]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

There are no travel or residency restrictions related to HIV status in Senegal. You can enter the country without a medical certificate and you can import antiretroviral medication for personal use.[9] According to 2015 data, there are an estimated 46,000 people in Senegal living with HIV, and 0.5% of the adult population (ages 15-49) are living with HIV.[10]

Regarding HPV, according to the HPV Information Centre, "Cervical cancer ranks as the 1st most frequent cancer among women in Senegal and the 1st most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. About 2.3% of women in the general population are estimated to harbour cervical HPV-16/18 infection at a given time, and 44.6% of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18."[11]

Testing Facilities[edit]

Visit the city pages, like the Dakar page, for local recommendations.

Support[edit]

  • Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Fann: Provides HIV treatment. Address: Route de Quakam, B.P. 5035, Dakar. Phone: +221 825 1930, 825 3430.
  • Hôpital Le Dantec: Provides HIV Treatment. Address: Avenue Pasteur, B.P. 3001, Dakar. Phone: +221 823 8125, 822 2420.
  • UNAIDS Senegal: This is an NGO focused on HIV/AIDS. Address: UNAIDS Regional Support Team for West & Central Africa. PO box 5748, Dakar. Phone: +221338690654. Email: KONED@UNAIDS.ORG.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • If you have a yeast infection, you can ask the pharmacist for Fluconazole.
  • There is a nationwide HPV vaccination pilot program.[12]
  • There is no national PrEP program in Senegal.

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Senegal, menstruation is an uncomfortable, even taboo, topic for many women. Women in rural areas or from poor backgrounds may lack the necessary menstrual products, and their schools may not be equipped to help them manage their menstrual needs, so they miss days of school when they have their periods. Women may also not commonly discuss menstruation or lack education on related to menstrual hygiene and management. Of course, there are also women in Senegal who deeply understand and who can access the menstrual resources available in Senegal. However, many other women may lack resources, support or education related to menstrual management.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

In Senegal, you can find pads in most stores. When you're in Dakar, you can also find tampons at grocery stores and pharmacies. We can't find any evidence of sellers of menstrual cups in Senegal, so you'll probably need to find an online seller that will deliver to Senegal (if you're interested in buying one).

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Visit the city pages, like the Dakar page, for local recommendations.

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Senegal, women receive 14 weeks of maternity leave with 100% of wages covered. There is no paternity leave policy.[13]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

Abortion law in Senegal is "restrictive and unclear."[14] According to the Senegalese Criminal Code, abortion is completely illegal. However, the Code of Medical Ethics allows an abortion to be performed if at least three doctors verify that the abortion is medically necessary to save the life of a woman. The legal proceedings for an abortion are supposedly very lengthy. In 2005, Senegal ratified the Maputo Protocol, which requires states to guarantee abortion access in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, endangerment to physical or mental health or risk to the mother's life.[15] However, the reality for nearly all Senegalese women remains that they must obtain an underground abortion or to leave the country for an abortion.

According to a 2015 report, 31% of all pregnancies in Senegal were unintended. Furthermore, 24% of unintended pregnancies result in induced abortions with 60% resulting in unplanned births and 16% in miscarriages. In 2012, there were an estimated 51,500 induced abortions in Senegal. The highest abortion rates were found in Dakar. Many of these underground abortions are unsafe, and just over one-third of the abortion providers were trained health professionals (17% were doctors and 20% were nurses or midwives). As a result, 55% of Senegalese women who obtained abortions experienced complications, although the complication rate between non-poor urban women (35%) and poor rural women (73%) varied significantly. The overwhelming majority of complications occurred when women tried to induce abortions themselves or received abortions from untrained providers.[16]

Furthermore, the report states, "Even where postabortion care services are available and affordable, fear of criminal charges and stigma may prevent many women from seeking the care they need. Educating providers about the legality of postabortion care—and the importance of such care to women’s health—may reduce these barriers to women’s obtaining prompt medical attention for abortion complications."[17]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can potentially get the "abortion pill" by mail. Check out this link for details
  • If you are considering leaving the country to obtain a legal abortion, you can legal abortions on request in Tunisia or Cape Verde. You can get abortions to preserve the woman's physical/mental health in The Gambia, Ghana, Algeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Note that laws may change so, before you choose to enter one of the countries, you should contact local hospitals and confirm if they can provide you an abortion.

Costs[edit]

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Dakar Women's Group: "DWG is run by an all-volunteer Executive Committee which oversees social and fundraising events. The money we raise funds projects around Dakar." "The Dakar Women’s Group (DWG) is open to all women living in Dakar and speaking a minimum of English."
  • Women-Dev: "Women-Dev est une team composée de quatre jeunes développeuses passionnées de nouvelles technologies."
  • African Network For Integrated Development: Rue 11 x 10 Amitie II, Dakar, Senegal. Tel: (221)-24-60-48. Fax: (221) 25 75 36.
  • Association Des Bacheliers Pour L'emploi Et Le Developpement: B.P. 12135 Colobane, Dakar, Senegal. Tel: (221) 2616102. Fax: (011 221) 2616102.
  • Association Des Femmes De L'afrique De L'ouest: Boulevard du Sud Point 3, B.P. 5802, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: 221 25 25 52. Fax: 221 25 25 52.
  • Association Des Professionnelles Africaines De La Communication (APAC): BP 4234, 38 BD de la Republique, Dakar, Senegal. Tel: 221 21081. Fax: 221 220042.
  • Association For The Promotion Of Senegalese Women - Association Pour La Promotion De Las Femme Senegalaise (APROFES): B.P. 12, Kaolack, Senegal, Tel: (221) 413195, Fax: (221) 413195.
  • Association Of African Women For Research And Development (AAWORD): The Executive Secretary, Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop, Angle Canal IV, BP 3304, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: (221) 25 98 22/3, Fax: (221) 24 12 89
  • Association of African Women for Research and Development: BP.15367, Dakar-Fann,Senegal, Tel.:(221) 824-20-53, Fax:(221) 824-20-56, Email: aaword@telecomplus.sn
  • Centre D'informations Juridiques Du Reseau Africain Pour Le Developpement Integre (CIJ/RADI) : B.P. 12855, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: (221) 246048, Fax: (221) 257536
  • Coalition for the Development of Urban Africa (ECOPOP): BP 3370, Dakar, Senegal. , Tel: 221-253 200. , Fax: 221-253 232. , E-mail: africaucus@enda.sn.
  • Collectif Des Femmes Pour La Defense De La Famille: BP 3098, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: (221) 51 36 44, Fax: (221) 51 24 72
  • Conseil Des Organisations Non Gouvernementales D'appui Au Developpement: Sicap Amiti I, Villa No. 3089 BIS., BP 4109, Dakar, Senegal,, Tel: (221) 244416, Fax: (221) 24 44 13.
  • Cosapere: P.O. Box 11184, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: (221 24) 78 31, Fax: (221 24) 78 31
  • ENDA-SYNFEV - Synergie Genre et Developpement, Environnement et Developpement du Tiers Monde - Synergy Gender and Development, Environment and Development of the Third World: B.P. 3370, Dakar, Senegal , Tel : 221 821 60 27 or 221 822 42 29 , Fax : 221 822 26 95, Email : mhms@enda.sn, URL: http://www.enda.sn/synfev/synfev.htm, ENDA-SYNFEV coordonne le Programme APC des Femmes en Afrique et est point focal pour l'Afrique francophone., "ENDA- Environment and Development in the Third World is an international non-governmental organization. The headquarters are in Dakar, Senegal, but its activities take place throughout the whole Third World. SYNFEV- Synergy Gender and Development is a team within ENDA whose mandate is to advocate for development in areas such as gender planning and (electronic) communication for women. These programs focus mainly on the Francophone African area. ENDA-SYNFEV organizes online conferences for women in Francophone Africa on the use of information and communication as well as the topics mentioned above. The website contains articles published in French and English. Languages: French, English."
  • Environnement Et Developpement Du Tiers Monde (ENDATM): 4 et 5 Rue Kleber, B.P. 3370, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: 221-22-4229, Fax: (011 221) 222695
  • Femme Developpement Entreprise En Afrique: B.P. 3921, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: 221 23 00 58, Fax: 221 25 42 87
  • Femmes Developpment Enterprise en Afrique (FDEA) - (Women Development Enterprise in Africa): Rue 1 X F point E, Bourgviba, PB 3921. Dakar, Senegal, Tel: (221) 23.00.58, 220240, Fax: (221) 25-42-87, (Credit, Savings, formation/Training, conseil, Agriculture)
  • Fondation International Pour Le Developpement: BP305 Louba, Cite Djilly M'Baye, Senegal, Tel: (221) 67 10 18, Fax: (221) 67 21 43
  • Yeewu Yewwi (Association For Women's Liberation): B.P. 4163, 38 Bld de la Republique, Dakar, Senegal. Tel: (221) 236268, Fax: (221) 243569

References[edit]

  1. Back to OCsOTC SiteGlobal Oral Contraception Availability
  2. Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide 2015
  3. Family Planning In Senegal: Which Imam Do You Listen To?
  4. Family planning program in Senegal drawn into conflict with religious leaders
  5. Family Planning In Senegal: Which Imam Do You Listen To?
  6. Princeton EC Website
  7. Princeton EC Website
  8. Princeton EC Website
  9. SENEGAL - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  10. Senegal HIV and AIDS estimates
  11. [http://www.hpvcentre.net/statistics/reports/SEN_FS.pdf Senegal Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016]
  12. Senegal: Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2016
  13. Parental Leave
  14. Abortion in Senegal
  15. In Senegal, women kill own babies due to strict abortion laws
  16. Abortion in Senegal
  17. Abortion in Senegal