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Posts Tagged ‘reproductive health services’

Today, July 12th, marks six months since the devastating earthquake that shook Haiti earlier this year, killing more than 200,000 people.  An article, published today on Relief Web, outlines several of the components of the national health plan of the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (with support from UNFPA) that was developed after the earthquake. The plan includes reviving the National School of Nurses and Midwives to reestablish midwifery training programs, working with UNICEF to set up clinics to provide skilled reproductive health services and basic emergency newborn care, supporting the Haitian Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to improve referral systems for maternal and neonatal services, and a variety of other activities to reduce morbidity and mortality among Haiti’s most vulnerable populations.

Relief Web

Excerpt from the article:

“…Life in the temporary camps poses a number of health challenges, especially for women and girls. Living in tight, often insecure quarters with minimal access to sanitation can expose women and girls to sexual violence and other dangers.

Over the past months, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has provided maternal health supplies, including birthing kits to serve a population of 2 million people, as well as 22,000 hygiene kits aimed at the female population living in temporary camps, along with nearly 1,000 tents, 2000 mattresses and 17,000 solar lamps…”

Click here for the full story.

For information on UNFPA’s work in Haiti, click here.

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In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8th), Pathfinder International has launched an initiative called 200 Thousand for 200 Million. The goal is to reach 200,000 shares of the Girl2Woman videos–and for every video shared, $1 will be donated to improving access to reproductive health services for the 200 million women around the world who lack adequate access to modern contraceptives.

Pathfinder International

As 2010 International Women’s Day approaches with the theme, ‘Equal Rights, Equal Opportunity,’ Pathfinder International believes a crucial aspect of improving women’s lives is missing in the current development dialogue: reproductive health.

‘How can women have equal rights and equal opportunities to have healthy, productive lives if they do not have the ability to choose if, when, and how often to have children?’ Pathfinder President Dan Pellegrom said. ‘It is a fundamental and basic human right to have access to a range of reproductive health care services.’

Pathfinder wants to ensure every woman can exercise that right. Girl2Woman.org features six videos showcasing the importance of reproductive health care throughout life. Every time a video is shared through Girl2Woman.org, a generous donor will give $1 to improve reproductive health services.

‘This International Women’s Day we need to band together, raise our voices and insist that women around the world no longer be marginalized. It impacts the civil and economic success of communities—and to be effective, it must all begin with reproductive health care,’ President Pellegrom said.”

To help raise awareness and reach the 200,000 goal, Pathfinder is urging all supporters to take 60 seconds to spread the word:

  • Visit www.Girl2Woman.org and share the videos with 5 friends
  • Post the Girl2Woman video on your blog or website
  • Tweet “200K shares for 200M women. Share videos on www.Girl2Woman.org, support women worldwide.”
  • Update your Facebook status with “200K shares for 200M women. Support women by helping www.girl2woman.org reach 200K video shares by International Women’s Day, March 8.”

For more information about the challenge or to help, please contact Linda Suttenfield, Director of Communications at lsuttenfield@pathfind.org or by phone 617- 955-2422.

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Elizabeth Payne, Editorial Board member of the Ottawa Citizen, outlines a plan/suggestion by Keith Martin, medical doctor and maternal health expert, for G8 countries to tackle maternal mortality in developing countries.

Ottawa Citizen

“…Martin says the federal government must articulate exactly what it is going to do when it comes to the G8 maternal health initiative and access to reproductive technology. ‘I hope they don’t take an ideological position.’

Harper will be ‘turning back the clock,’ Martin says, if the initiative does not include reproductive health: ‘I can’t think of another country that would take that position.’

But, he adds, the initiative is too crucial to be lost because of political debate. There is a way Canada can lead a ‘pragmatic, effective plan’ without having to directly support abortions or contraceptives.

Martin suggests each of the G8 countries could take on a different aspect of the campaign to reduce maternal and child mortality.

‘It would be a way for the conservative government to make sure what comes out of the G8 is a plan that is implemented rather than talked about,’ he said.

In order to reduce maternal mortality rates, he says, a G8 initiative should include training of primary care workers, access to medications, diagnostics, clean water, access to power, access to family planning and nutrition, particularly micro-nutrients…”

Read the full story, How to help women, and avoid abortion politics.

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National Public Radio

“During the Bush administration, conservatives opposed even the use of the term “reproductive health services.” U.S. support for family planning abroad declined significantly. Now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that under the Obama administration, millions of women worldwide will have greater access to family planning, contraception and HIV counseling and treatment.”

Listen to the story here.

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According to UNFPA, Timor-Leste has a maternal mortality ratio of 660 deaths/100,000 live births

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

Women in rural areas have little to no information on reproductive health. Photo by David Swanson/IRIN

“According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), women in Timor-Leste – the world’s newest independent nation and also Asia’s poorest – give birth to an average 6.38 children during their lifetime, one of the highest fertility rates in the world and second only to Afghanistan.  Melinda Mousaco, the country director for Marie Stopes International Timor Leste, told IRIN that awareness of family planning and reproductive health, particularly in rural areas, is ‘next to nothing’.

‘Because of a lack of education, accidental pregnancies happen frequently,’ she said. ‘When we show basic reproductive anatomy or give information about women’s menstrual cycles, people often tell us ‘this is the first time I’ve heard this’.’

Timor-Leste gained formal independence from Indonesia in 2002 after a long separatist struggle and a surge of violence in 1999, and health experts cite conflict and unemployment as key factors in the country’s high population growth…”

Read the full story here.

For more information on UNFPA in Timor-Leste, click here.

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Karl Hofman, President and CEO of Population Services International (PSI), argues that social marketing can be used to dramatically improve the health and lives of women—and more specifically, that social marketing can be used to address the massive unmet need for family planning services around the world.

Reproductive Health Reality Check

“…By treating women around the world as customers, by creating incentives for the private sector–which already interacts with these women–to carry life-saving products as well as soap or cooking oil, by using marketing to encourage behavior change the same way we were encouraged to wear a seat belt or are now encouraged to [use] Twitter, we reach more women and we change more lives. Social marketing can work even in circumstances where donors lose interest or politics get in the way. Because a market for a product or service, once stimulated, tends to perpetuate itself…”

Make sure to read the full story to understand how, as Hofman puts it, “Social marketing is ‘Mad Men’ meets ‘Heroes’.”

Read the full story  here.

Visit the Population Services International (PSI) site here.

To read Karl Hofman’s bio, click here.

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A fall in the number of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth was announced at a National Maternal Death Review Committee dialogue meeting.

Cocorioko

“Dr Kisito Daoh, chief medical officer of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, said the implementation of a maternal death review had been essential due to the high number of women dying every day. Since the beginning of the programme, the death rate has fallen from 30 fatalities a day to five, he claimed. Even so, Dr Daoh said this figure remains too high, and the government is committed to further reductions. He insisted that the fight against maternal death is part of President Koroma’s agenda for change in Sierra Leone…”

Read more here.

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