User Fees are Limiting Women’s Access to Obstetrics Services
The Government of Zimbabwe along with UNICEF released new social development data which exposed a grim situation for women and children in Zimbabwe. The Multiple Indicator and Monitoring Survey (MIMS), conducted in May 2009 reported a deterioration in access to key social services for women and children, especially for the poorest populations and in rural areas. The survey also revealed alarming data that 1 in 2 pregnant women in rural areas were now delivering at home and that 39 per cent nationally were not accessing the requisite medical facilities for delivery, while 40 per cent were not attended to at birth by a skilled birth attendant. These findings confirm the result of previous research indicating that user fees and other financial barriers are limiting women’s access to life-saving obstetric services.
Proposed Abortion Law in Peru is Met with a Divided Governmental Response
In Peru a multidisciplinary committee responsible for revising the Penal Code has raised the issue of decriminalizing abortion in cases of rape or severe disability of the fetus. The Minister of Health, Oscar Ugarte, stated that therapeutic abortion is not against the right of life and announced that it will be regulated, because it is important to save the lives of women. However, the Minister of Defense, Rafael Rey, rejected the proposition and warned that he will resign his position if Congress approves the decriminalization of abortion in these exceptional circumstances. The Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Mercedes Araóz, also rejected the decriminalization of abortion and suggested that the solution in case of rape is adoption.
The First Lady Calls for the Eradication of Myths/Rumors Regarding Family Planning
The First lady, Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills, has called for the eradication of myths and rumors linked to family planning methods to reduce maternal mortality in Ghana. Family planning had been identified to reduce 30 percent of maternal deaths. Mrs. Naadu Mills who was launching the National Safe Motherhood campaign in Koforidua, on Thursday described as unacceptable the fact that most of maternal deaths were preventable and solutions were also available. The current maternal mortality figure for the country stands at about 451 per every 100,000 live births. The campaign aims to accelerate the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths in Ghana in order to achieve 75 percent reduction by the year 2015–Millennium Development Goal 5.