In the Journal of Virus Eradication, Judith Bruce, a senior associate and policy analyst for the Population Council, discusses the importance of fulfilling the basic human rights of adolescent girls and protecting them during viral epidemics such as HIV and Ebola.
“Following the conclusion of the first cycle of the Ebola crisis…about 18,000 girls became pregnant who would not have become pregnant. During the Ebola outbreak they were confined at home, not in school, both driving adolescent pregnancy rates. There was a rise in sexual exploitation and poverty, and food security-driven exchanges of sex for gifts or money, and the breakdown of even the marginal governance and security the girls had enjoyed.”
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