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Articles by Category for ‘Contraception’

Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html

With just 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we must all intensify our actions to hit our targets, especially the MDG 5 targets to reduce maternal death and achieve universal reproductive health.

There is no time for complacency when 800 women and girls continue to die each day of pregnancy and childbirth complications, and more than 220 million women who want to plan their births continue to lack modern contraception.

To speed up progress, I am excited about a new public-private partnership that plans to save an additional 140,000 women and 250,000 newborns and significantly increase access to reproductive health services, including modern contraception, by the end of 2015. We are working together — governments, the United Nations system, civil society and the private sector — guided by a roadmap, we unveiled last month, to accelerate maternal and newborn survival.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html

 

Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Amid population explosion, birth control access roils the Philippines 

See: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/reproductive-healthphilippines/

MARK LITKE: It’s 8 a.m. at the Jose Favella hospital in the Philippine capital, Manila. In the past 12 hours there have been about 40 births, a fairly average night for one of the world’s busiest maternity wards.

DR. SYLVIA DE LA PAZ: As you can see, there’s more patients than there are resources for them.

MARK LITKE: Dr. Silvia de la Paz, the chief obstetrician here, says they manage the crush as best they can. Often putting two beds together as a tandem bed for four mothers and four newborns.

And from these overcrowded hospital wards, out into the teeming slums of the city, it’s easy to see this country is in the midst of a population explosion, what some are calling a crisis. The Philippines today has one of the highest birth rates in Asia with a population that has more than doubled over the last three decades from 45 million to 100 million.

Once the mothers and their newborns leave the maternity hospital, many are going to return to places like, Tondo – this gritty neighborhood right on the edge of Manila. It’s a place where families struggle to get by on $1 or $2 a day at best. Here, very young children scavenge through garbage in search of something to sell for a few dollars to help support their families.

See: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/reproductive-healthphilippines/

Long-Term Answer to Border Crises: Empower Women

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Long-Term Answer to Border Crises: Empower Women 

Border crises flare as government policies neglect inequality, family planning and gender mainstreaming

See: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/long-term-answer-border-crises-family-planning

 
MEXICO CITY: The United States has a border crisis – with more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors streaming into the country overwhelming the administration. The obvious reasons behind their desperate journey of up to 1,600 miles are well known – fleeing violence, drug crime, poverty and lack of opportunities. But the solutions offered by the US government and politicians are short-term palliatives that do not address the fundamental causes including gender inequality and poor governance.

 
Most of the minors are fleeing from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which have high rates of homicide and poverty. The violence threatens livelihoods, and in addition, about 40 percent of the minors coming from these three countries have a parent or family member living in the United States. Regional migratory surges are common when a struggling country has easy access to stronger, more developed economies and a constant onslaught of images touting wealth and comforts. Conflicts emerge when many in the host country fear the sudden influx might precipitate demographic, cultural or security threats. Migrations are more complicated when the influx is composed mostly of unaccompanied minors – a migratory challenge transforms into a humanitarian and moral dilemma.

See: http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/long-term-answer-border-crises-family-planning

Safety nets for birth control coverage aren’t working in U.S.A.

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Safety nets for birth control coverage aren’t working

The number of poor women who need contraception has gone up nearly a quarter. The number getting it has dropped

See: HERE

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of American women in need of publicly funded family planning services went up 22 percent. The number of women able to access those services did not. Instead, it declined, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute. Recent estimates show that 20 million women qualify as “in need” of publicly funded contraception typically provided by Title X services, instituted decades ago to provide family planning assistance (because even Richard Nixon knew that accessible birth control is a good idea).But the ongoing partisan crusade against abortion providers, in which Title X programs have unfortunately been included, has left just over one-fifth of qualifying patients covered.

“The number of women needing publicly funded contraceptive services has skyrocketed over the last decade,” Rachel Gold, Guttmacher’s acting vice president for public policy, said in a statement. “Publicly funded family planning centers are safety-net providers – they are essential in enabling women to plan the pregnancies they want and avoid the ones that they don’t. But public funding sources – such as the federal Title X program and state revenues – are failing to keep pace with women’s growing needs.”

In 2000, public clinics were able to provide coverage for just 41 percent of the low-income women who qualified for it; that number dropped 10 percent by 2012, when Title X was able to serve just 4.3 million women. Despite the program’s inability to keep up with growing demand, it has still offered crucial assistance: Guttmacher credits public clinics with helping to avoid 1.5 million unintended pregnancies in 2012, which would have resulted in 741,000 unplanned births and 510,000 abortions. Title X health centers provided more than 70 percent of those services, which kept the combined rate of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion down by 44 percent. It also saved the U.S. a whole lot of money.

See: HERE

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Uganda Teen Pregnancies’ Plan Under Fire 

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1

Kampala – A new Ugandan sex-education campaign to reduce teen pregnancy, maternal mortality among young women and girls, and the cost of post-abortion medical care, is generating heated debate.

The one year campaign “Let Girls Be Girls” was officially launched on 13 July by the Health Ministry and UN Population Fund (UNFPA). It aims to address the growing vulnerability of girls to early pregnancy and birth related complications, and hopes to reduce deaths among young mothers aged 15-24 from the current 24 percent to 15 percent by July 2015.

The programme provides free contraceptives to adolescents in schools, and sex education to local communities, parents, pupils and teachers on the rights children have to a safe and secure environment within their homes, schools and communities.

“Our campaign is ‘Let Girls Be Girls’ and not young wives or mothers. Our emphasis is on sex education and empowering girls and boys to say no to early sex before marriage and to report men and boys disturbing them,” Zainab Akol, principal medical officer, family planning, at the Ministry of Health, told IRIN.

“We want them [girls] to preserve their fertility and not do abortions. We also want all those who get pregnant to return and complete school,” she said.

According to the 2011 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS), 24 percent of female teenagers are either pregnant or have given birth already. About 14 percent of young women and 16 percent of young men had their first sexual encounter before the age of 15, while 57 percent of young women had their first encounter before the age of 18, the survey found.

See: http://allafrica.com/stories/201407270016.html?viewall=1

Reducing Carbon by Curbing Population

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Reducing Carbon by Curbing Population 

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/business/economy/population-curbs-as-a-means-to-cut-carbon-emissions.html?_r=0

Remember the population explosion?

When population was growing at its fastest rate in human history in the decades after World War II, the sense that overpopulation was stunting economic development and stoking political instability took hold from New Delhi to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York, sending policy makers on an urgent quest to stop it.

In the 1970s the Indian government forcibly sterilized millions of women. Families in Bangladesh, Indonesia and elsewhere were forced to have fewer children. In 1974, the United Nations organized its first World Population Conference to debate population control. China rolled out its one-child policy in 1980.

Then, almost as suddenly as it had begun, the demographic “crisis” was over. As fertility rates in most of the world dropped to around the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman – with the one major exception of sub-Saharan Africa – population specialists and politicians turned to other issues.

By 1994, when the U.N. held its last population conference, in Cairo, demographic targets had pretty much been abandoned, replaced by an agenda centered on empowering women, reducing infant mortality and increasing access to reproductive health.

“Some people still regret that; some applaud it,” said Joel E. Cohen, who heads the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University in New York. “I’m not sure we need demographic goals but we need forward thinking.”

See: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/business/economy/population-curbs-as-a-means-to-cut-carbon-emissions.html?_r=0

In South Sudan, opposition to family planning exacerbates reproductive health needs

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

In South Sudan, opposition to family planning exacerbates reproductive health needs 

See: http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/17917

WAU, South Sudan - The need for reproductive health care remains overwhelming in South Sudan. Even before the current humanitarian crisis erupted in December of last year, the country had one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. And now, more than 1.1 million people internally displaced by violence, conditions have significantly deteriorated.

The country does not have nearly enough health professionals to meet the needs of adolescents and women. Some of the UNFPA-supported clinics operating in displacement camps see more than 40 births a week.

Access to basic reproductive health information and services – including voluntary family planning – would reduce the country’s staggering number of maternal deaths. It would also help bring down the high infant mortality rate.

Yet there remains stiff resistance. Rumours and misconceptions about contraceptives are widespread, and many men are opposed to family planning.

See: http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/17917

Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment Aims to Shed Light on Pop-Environment Link

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment Aims to Shed Light on Pop-Environment Link 

See: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/08/family-planning-environmental-sustainability-assessment-aims-shed-light-population-environment-link/

As global environmental change accelerates, understanding how population dynamics affect the environment is more important than ever. It seems obvious that human-caused climate change has at least something to do with the quadrupling of world population over the last 100 years.

But the evidence that slower population growth is good for the environment – logical as that statement may seem – has never been extensive, with conceptual models, empirical research, and data often lacking on key issues.

An ambitious new Worldwatch project, the Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability Assessment, hopes to help redress this, shedding light on how increased access to voluntary family planning services can support environmental sustainability.

See: http://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2014/08/family-planning-environmental-sustainability-assessment-aims-shed-light-population-environment-link/

Hot Hulu web novella ‘East Los High’ spans media platforms to help young Latinos make smart choices, researchers say

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Hot Hulu web novella ‘East Los High’ spans media platforms to help young Latinos make smart choices, researchers say

See: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/07/024.html

BUFFALO, N.Y. – “East Los High,” the trailblazing, addictive and hugely popular Hulu original series, uses a range of digital media platforms to involve its audience in the lives, scandals and emotional traumas of Latino students attending a fictional high school in East Los Angeles, California, and communication experts say it works on both the entertainment and educational levels.

The first season was streamed online in summer 2013; the second season was premiered on July 9.  Only a few days later, Hulu announced their renewal of the show for a third season. As one critic said, “Latin heat – East LA never looked so good.”

It is the first-ever English language series with an all-Latino cast to address issues in Latino communities in the United States.  Characters are complex and realistic, and through the program they learn to make smart lifestyle and health choices, especially in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

See: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/07/024.html

Africa has a billion soccer fans, but doesn’t need a billion more

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Guest commentary: Africa has a billion soccer fans, but doesn’t need a billion more 

See: http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_26212369/guest-commentary-africa-has-billion-soccer-fans-but

My work in Mozambique was marked by World Cup fever. I arrived here a few weeks before the start of the games and soon joined fellow soccer-crazed fans in a crowded street-side café, careening my neck to cheer on the African teams shown on a low-quality projection on the side of a building.

For a sports lover like me, it was heaven.

At each commercial break, however — right through the final match — Coca-Cola reminded me why I was in Mozambique.”Whatever it takes to win a FIFA World Cup, we have!” the announcer boomed optimistically to his African target audience, while African players deftly maneuvered through defenders. “But our African teams have something even more powerful on their side … 1 billion fans!” continued the announcer. And the crowd went wild.

One billion.In 1990, Africa was home to around half that many, with 630 million people. Today’s actual African population stands at more than 1.1 billion. That’s 1.1 billion who are mostly young people who need primary education, safe water and fuel.They are farmers who need arable land to feed the continent. Young men who need jobs. On a continent that faces abysmal doctor-to-population ratios, all 1.1 billion will, at some point, need health care.
The United Nations estimates that, in 2050, there will be more than twice as many people as there are now. Africa will have to provide for a population of some 2.5 billion. But 2.5 billion people by 2050 is not a foregone conclusion.