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Articles by Category for ‘Family Planning’

Namibian rural women negotiate for safer sex and family planning

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Namibian rural women negotiate for safer sex and family planning
See: http://www.coastweek.com/3715-culture-10.htm

By Ndalimpinga Iita WINDHOEK (Xinhua) — On a Sunday afternoon, in a far flung village in northern Namibia’s Omusati Region, Hileni Kampangu sees off her two children to Sunday school. There and then, she multi-tasks between breast-feeding a small baby and tinkling a three-year-old girl.

“They are a handful. Being a young mother of four is no child’s play,” Kampungu said as she juggles between giving attention to the children.

Kampungu’s greatest wish is not to have any more children. But this might just be a wish, as exclusion from negotiating safer sex and discussing family planning with her partner may shatter that, she said.

“This is my fourth child, and by the look of things, it will not be the last,” she told Xinhua on Sunday afternoon.

See: http://www.coastweek.com/3715-culture-10.htm

Will Increased Food Production Devour Tropical Forest Lands?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Will Increased Food Production Devour Tropical Forest Lands?
See: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/will_increased_food_production_devour_tropical_forest_lands/2755/

As global population soars, efforts to boost food production will inevitably be focused on the world’s tropical regions. Can this agricultural transformation be achieved without destroying the remaining tropical forests of Africa, South America, and Asia?

I once stumbled out of a jungle in the Congo Basin and startled two Bantu farmers – both women – tending a small field. I spoke no Bantu and they no French, and so we just stared at each other, a little warily, until one of their toddlers wailed and we all shared a laugh.

For the Bantu, farming has changed little in 3,000 years. The women still work small farming plots made by slashing and burning the rainforest.

They plant crops like yams and bananas, while their men hunt or talk village politics. It’s a precarious existence, but the slash-and-burn farmers can eke out a living if their numbers are low enough and game abounds in the nearby forest.

Increasingly, though, this picture is changing. The Bantu are multiplying quickly, as are many other peoples across Africa. The United Nations’ mid-range population projections for the continent are staggering, with the number of Africans expected to nearly quadruple from 1.1 billion today to 4.2 billion in 2100. Feeding that populace will be an enormous challenge, requiring, among other things, a gigantic boom in agriculture.

See: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/will_increased_food_production_devour_tropical_forest_lands/2755/

Climate Change: The Least We Can Do

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Climate Change: The Least We Can Do
See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-walker/climate-change-the-least_b_5107476.html?utm_hp_ref=green

As the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report makes clear, we are long past the point of avoiding climate change. The best we can do now is to avoid the worst effects. The situation is more dire than previously projected and the consequences of inaction more starkly drawn than ever before:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased….Over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent (high confidence)…. Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

In a perfect world, the IPCC’s report would summon forth our best efforts at mitigating climate change and its effects. We would be doing whatever is necessary and prudent to avoid a human and environmental catastrophe. By now, however, it is evident that governments — and the people they represent — are shrinking from the challenge. Hope for concerted global action on any kind of meaningful scale has largely evaporated.

Instead of asking what is the most that can be done to mitigate climate change and alleviate its consequences, perhaps we should be asking, “What is the least that can be done?”

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-walker/climate-change-the-least_b_5107476.html?utm_hp_ref=green

Philippine Supreme Court Upholds Most of Reproductive-Health Law

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Philippine Supreme Court Upholds Most of Reproductive-Health Law
Law Allows Greater Access to Birth Control; Some Provisions Struck Down
See: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304819004579488974266047850?4579488974266047850.html

The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld most of a controversial reproductive-health law, handing the government a victory in its effort to provide greater public access to birth control and family-planning education in the heavily Catholic country.

The implementation of the law has been held up for more than a year by a legal challenge from the Roman Catholic Church and faith-based groups. Advocates of the law say it will help slow the country’s population growth of more than 2% annually by providing people more access to contraceptives. However, opponents say the law violates the Philippine Constitution by promoting contraceptives, imposing population control and violating religious beliefs.

“This monumental decision upholds the separation of church and state and affirms the supremacy of government in secular concerns like health and socio-economic development,” said Congressman Edcel Lagman, one of the authors of the law.

See: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304819004579488974266047850?4579488974266047850.html

Four Steps to Better Link Climate Adaptation and Reproductive Health Strategies

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Four Steps to Better Link Climate Adaptation and Reproductive Health Strategies
See: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/03/kathleen-mogelgaard-steps-linking-climate-adaptation-reproductive-health-strategies-2/#.U0Po5vldW8w

LINK TO PODCAST: http://ecsp-wwc.podomatic.com/entry/2014-03-27T14_53_31-07_00

Climate change vulnerability is closely tied to population dynamics, says Kathleen Mogelgaard in this week’s podcast. “We know that population size, composition and spatial distribution around the world is constantly changing, and that these changes do have implications for climate change exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity – the three elements of vulnerability.”

And yet, despite this knowledge, alternative population scenarios are rarely considered in climate assessments. “We do know that things like fertility and population growth can be responsive to policy and programmatic interventions,” she says, and more than 233 million women worldwide currently lack access to family planning but want to delay or prevent pregnancy. Addressing that unmet need could make a major difference in the growth rates of many regions of the world, reducing climate vulnerability along the way.

Mogelgaard outlines four ways the links between climate change adaptation and reproductive health strategies need to be strengthened: in adaptation planning frameworks, tools and training, program design, and the evidence base for these connections.

The creation of National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs) was a major initiative by the UN Framework on Convention on Climate Change to create climate adaptation plans for the most vulnerable countries. Most of the plans, in fact, identified rapid population growth as something that exacerbates vulnerability. But when it came to the implementation phase, only a “handful of the NAPAs recognized that family planning and reproductive health services could be part of an adaptation strategy,” Mogelgaard says; fewer still made them a priority, and none were funded.

See: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/03/kathleen-mogelgaard-steps-linking-climate-adaptation-reproductive-health-strategies-2/#.U0Po5vldW8w

47th Session of the Commission on Population and Development

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Assessing progress for populations worldwide
See: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/newsletter/desanews/feature/2014/04/index.html#10580

When the Commission on Population and Development gathers on 7-11 April, it will be only a few months away from the 20-year anniversary of the largest intergovernmental conference on population and development ever held – the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994. Ahead of this event, John Wilmoth, Director of UN DESA’s Population Division, spoke with DESA News about some of the demographic trends during the past 20 years and some of the issues currently at stake.

“One of the most important areas of progress goes to the heart of what the Cairo conference was all about,” said Mr. Wilmoth, highlighting how this conference represented a shift in thinking. “Across the board, the emphasis went toward thinking about individuals and their rights and needs, and addressing those issues first and foremost,” he explained. He also pointed to positive changes that can be seen over the past 20 years including a substantial reduction of fertility around the world, increases in life expectancy as well as greater recognition of the contribution of international migration to development.

The conference in Cairo helped galvanize action that brought major improvements in the well-being of people around the world. When representatives and experts from a large number of UN Member States and NGOs gather in New York for the 47th session of the Commission on Population and Development, they will assess the status of implementation of the Programme of Action, adopted by 179 governments in 1994.

“There is still an unfinished agenda of the Cairo conference,” Mr. Wilmoth said, pointing to the need to continue to improve life expectancy, reduce fertility, enhance access to education, and achieve gender equality. “It means continuing to work on fulfilling the rights and needs of individuals across the life course,” Mr. Wilmoth added.

See: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/newsletter/desanews/feature/2014/04/index.html#10580

Myths foil family planning adoption

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Myths foil family planning adoption

See: http://timesmediamw.com/myths-foil-family-planning-adoption/

Violet Mboga of Gomani Village in Senior Chief Kapeni’s area in Blantyre knows well that one day, she could be in trouble.

For the period she has been married she has had to go behind her husband’s back to access family planning methods and after two deliveries, she still keeps the secret to her heart.

She even said she would still keep her husband in the dark on her secret although she is afraid that once he discovers, there will be trouble.

The 34-year old said it is not her intention to keep her husband away from the matter; it is because he has never accepted to let her access family planning methods ever since they got married.

“He hardly accepts to use family planning methods because he and other men from our village believe that once a woman starts using the methods, they become prostitutes leading to end of marriages,” she said, adding that as a woman, she did not feel safe without family planning methods due to her family’s financial standing.

The husband’s belief in myths around family planning is a common in most parts in the area.

See: http://timesmediamw.com/myths-foil-family-planning-adoption/

 

Family planning groups in developing countries set for Bloomberg boost

Monday, March 31st, 2014
Family planning groups in developing countries set for Bloomberg boost

$50m grants scheme will support delivery of reproductive health services in Uganda, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Nicaragua
Grassroots organisations are to share in a multi-million dollar project to improve family planning and reproductive health services for women and girls in Africa and Latin America.
Groups in Uganda, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Nicaragua will be able to apply for advocacy grants as part of a three-pillar, $50m (£30m) package to support family planning services. The scheme was announced on Thursday by Bloomberg Philanthropies, set up by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.
Bloomberg will work with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America to identify groups that could benefit from extra funding in each of the four countries. Organisations working among marginalised groups such as young people and unmarried women will be a particular focus for the scheme, which will also support agencies that lobby their governments for legislation and policies that support access to services.
As part of the package, Bloomberg is partnering with the UN Foundation to launch a rapid-response grants programme to support governments and providers in delivering reproductive health services in 69 of the world’s poorest countries. This could include providing grants to pay for emergency supplies of contraceptives when there is a stockout at a health centre, or paying for specialised training for health workers.

Indonesia’s Population Boom Unsustainable, Experts Warn

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Indonesia’s Population Boom Unsustainable, Experts Warn

See: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesias-population-boom-unsustainable-experts-warn/

Jakarta — When the National Population and Family Planning Board, or BKKBN, held its annual meeting on Monday, there was a palpable tension in the room.

The BKKBN’s partners – such as the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) and Muslimat NU, the women’s wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s biggest Islamic organization – seemed particularly insistent that the BKKBN this year delivers on its family planning programs, amid projections of a population explosion that could severely strain Indonesia’s economic growth and development.

A problem of numbers

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) predicts that the country’s population will increase from 238 million in 2010 to more than 305 million by 2035 – an average increase of three million people per year.

That, the BKKBN’s partners say, poses a serious question of how to feed, educate and provide sufficient jobs for everyone.

“Things did not happen as we expected. We expected lower growth,” says Mayling Oei-Gardiner, a demographics expert from the University of Indonesia.

“Also, the fertility [rate] did not really decline. It stayed relatively constant, while the maternal mortality rate soared. So I am not very optimistic now.”

See: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesias-population-boom-unsustainable-experts-warn/

Report Underscores Critical Importance Of Family Planning Programs And Providers

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Report Underscores Critical Importance Of Family Planning Programs And Providers

See: http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/mariposa-daily-news-2014/173-march/12511-new-report-underscores-critical-importance-of-family-planning-programs-and-providers

March 20, 2014 – The highly successful U.S. family planning effort helps almost nine million disadvantaged women each year to plan their families and protect their health, while also substantially reducing rates of unintended pregnancy and saving taxpayers more than $10 billion, according to a new Guttmacher report. The report, Moving Forward: Family Planning in the Era of Health Reform, synthesizes the most up-to-date data and analyses to illustrate the current and future importance of family planning programs and the safety-net providers at the heart of this effort.

“Our report is grounded in the fact that effective contraception is a critical part of basic health care for women,” says Rachel Benson Gold, one of the report’s authors. “Publicly funded family planning services improve low-income and young women’s ability to use the method of contraception that is best for them, thereby yielding significant health, social and economic benefits for women, their families and society as a whole.”

Government programs-notably, the Title X national family planning program and the joint federal-state Medicaid insurance program-have worked together for decades to improve access to contraceptives and related care.

See: http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/mariposa-daily-news-2014/173-march/12511-new-report-underscores-critical-importance-of-family-planning-programs-and-providers