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A new law, preventing schools from expelling pregnant girls, has begun to positively change perceptions, showing that law and social norms can reinforce each other. However, the intersection between law and culture in Senegal is largely creating rather than removing barriers. The prohibition of abortion and the criminalisation of homosexuality present direct legal barriers to SRH access with a profound impact on the health, safety and lives of young women and LGBT people. Other barriers are created by:
Senegal is in the midst of a health system crisis. There are only 10 doctors per 100,000 people (compared to the UK's 270 per 100,000), and health infrastructure and systems are poorly resourced and often low quality.
The Association Sénégalaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ASBEF), founded over 35 years ago, is one of the few health resources available to the population for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. The Senegalese government depends on ASBEF for much of the nation’s service delivery and for guidance on policy.