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Enhancing equity through digital technologies for sexual and reproductive health in low and middle-income countries

Guest Edited by: Ogochukwu Udenigwe

Submission Status: Closed  |   Submission Deadline: 31 December 2023

Health disparities which often stem from inequitable access to and use of healthcare contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality. Evidence shows significant health disparities between high-, middle-, and low-income countries including within countries and especially among underserved populations. A commitment to health equity, according to the WHO is a commitment to “the absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in health among population groups defined socially, economically, demographically or geographically”. In sexual and reproductive health, concepts such as human rights, reproductive justice, and bodily autonomy are central to achieving health equity with particular attention to social and structural factors such as racism, gender, oppression, and deprivation.

It is increasingly recognized that digital health innovations hold strong promises for improving sexual and reproductive health. The rapid growth of digital health interventions such as digital health apps, remote health provision, and online health information has the potential to ameliorate health disparities stemming from inequities. For instance, client-provider telemedicine in sexual and reproductive health overcomes the geographical or social barriers to accessing contraceptives or abortion services by supporting medication abortion or by improving knowledge about contraceptives across different cultural contexts or a wide range of populations. The allure of digital health notwithstanding, it raises health equity challenges and poses the risk of exacerbating health disparities because digital health technologies are not often designed for all who can benefit from them or may have unintended consequences.

To date, few studies are examining the relationship between digital health technology and health equity from a position of social disadvantage. The complexities of digital health and its interactions with individuals’ social and structural environments are not sufficiently explored.

This special issue aims to curate multidisciplinary papers focusing on low and middle-income countries that explore and promote equitable digital health innovations for sexual and reproductive health including in their design, distribution, implementation and evaluation.

Manuscripts should be formatted according to the Reproductive Health submission guidelines and submitted via the online submission system. All articles will undergo the journals full standard peer-review process and will be published upon acceptance. In the submission system please select the correct series title and also indicate in the covering letter that the manuscript is to be considered for this special series. More information about the series and the journal, including full aims & scope and Editorial Board, can be found on the journal website. For submission enquiries please contact the Editors at

  1. One of the reasons for the increase in cesarean section is the lack of knowledge of mothers in choosing the type of delivery. The present study aimed to determine the effect of education through pregnancy appl...

    Authors: Fatemeh Moghbeli, Masood Setoodefar, Mohammad Reza Mazaheri Habibi, Zohreh Abbaszadeh, Hanieh Keikhay Moghadam, Sajedeh Salari, Leila Gholamhosseini, Meysam Fallahnezhad and Seyed Ali Fatemi Aghda
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2024 21:49
  2. The implementation of the country-wide comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum among in-school adolescents remains abysmally low and mHealth-based interventions are promising. We assessed the effect...

    Authors: Oluwatosin Wuraola Akande, Moise Muzigaba, Ehimario Uche Igumbor, Kelly Elimian, Oladimeji Akeem Bolarinwa, Omotosho Ibraheem Musa and Tanimola Makanjuola Akande
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2024 21:6
  3. A community of practice (CoP) is defined as a group of people who share a concern, set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis. ...

    Authors: Dan Kabonge Kaye, Simon Peter Kayondo, Stella Lovina Nabatanzi, Susan Nassuuna, Othiniel Musana, Imelda Namagembe, John Paul Nsanja, Othman Kakaire, Peter Ssebadduka and Cissy Ssekimpi
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:180
  4. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted maternal and newborn health services in Bangladesh, exacerbating the large gaps in service utilization that existed prior to the pandemic. As part of its response, Bangladesh in...

    Authors: Amirul Islam, Farida Begum, Anna Williams, Rabeya Basri, Rowsan Ara and Rondi Anderson
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:128
  5. Adolescent pregnancy remains a major global health issue, increasing the risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth in mothers and babies. In Tanzania, adolescent pregnancy threatens girls’ educatio...

    Authors: Yoko Shimpuku, Naoki Hirose, Sanmei Chen, Dorkasi L. Mwakawanga, Niko Madeni, Frida Madeni, Mariko Komada, Ayaka Teshima, Mayu Morishima, Yasunobu Ando, Koji Takahama and Atsushi Nishida
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:127