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Posts Tagged ‘birth control’

Roots of Health is an organization working to provide women, young mothers, and children in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines with educational, medical, and nutritional support–and they also have a program specific to ensuring healthy pregnancies. Amina Evangelista Swanepoel recently wrote a blog post on her work providing reproductive health education to women in the Philippines–and the interesting beliefs of many of these women.

Roots of Health Blog

“Some of the beliefs we encounter at Pulang Lupa are wrong, but are generally harmless. Others, such as the belief that drinking soap will cure an STI, are dangerous. Last week our topic during our health sessions was on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As we discussed prevention techniques and cures we were confronted with some funny, some disturbing and some just plain weird ideas about a range of related topics…”

Read the full post, Flipping Your Uterus and Other Ways to Prevent Pregnency.

Learn more about Roots of Health’s work.

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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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President Obama made his budget announcement—leaving some organizations  pleased with the increases in funding for maternal and child health, family planning, and malaria while others wonder if, “scarcity of cash means AIDS has to be played off against maternal health, when both urgently need more money.”

Sarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog

“Hot on the heels of the Gates Foundation $10 billion donation to vaccines and Bill and Melinda’s impassioned pleas to governments to increase their aid comes President Obama’s budget announcement, which has attracted both praise and blame.

Among those who say he is a good guy is the Global Health Council, lauding him for a 9% increase in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget request to Congress. This is their analysis of how the money is to be parceled out.

The Council is happy that there are increases for maternal and child health and malaria and family planning (Obama lifted the Global Gag or Mexico City rule imposed by Bush which prevented any US funds going to overseas organisations including UN agencies which were prepared even to discuss abortion with women).

But other organisations are not happy and foremost among the critics is the formidable Jeff Sachs of Columbia University, who has labelled the budget request a Very Big Disappointment…”

Read the full story here.

Also, take a look at Serra Sippel’s post, Obama’s Global Health Initiative: Getting It Right The First Time Around on Huffington Post.

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A NOW team from PBS recently went to Haiti to investigate high levels of maternal mortality in the country. They happened to be in the Haiti when the earthquake hit. In collaboration with the Bureau for International Reporting (BIR), a non-profit video news production company, PBS produced Saving Haiti’s Mothers, a show that examines the state of maternal health in Haiti before the earthquake and immediately following it.

NOW on PBS

“Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake, in addition to leaving lives and institutions in ruin, also exacerbated a longtime lethal risk in Haiti: Dying during childbirth. Challenges in transportation, education, and quality health care contribute to Haiti having the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, a national crisis even before the earthquake struck. While great strides are being made with global health issues like HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality figures worldwide have seen virtually no improvement in 20 years. Worldwide, over 500,000 women die each year during pregnancy. This week, a NOW team that had been working in Haiti during the earthquake reports on this deadly but correctable trend. They meet members of the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF), which operates a network of health agents in more than 100 villages, engaging in pre-natal visits, education, and emergency ambulance runs for pregnant women…”

Read the full story and watch the special here.

Learn more about Haitian Health Foundation, UNFPA, and Family Care International—all organizations featured in the show.

Visit the Bureau for International Reporting (BIR) site 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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