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Articles by Category for ‘Reproductive Health’

Stoddard: Bill Ryerson, Global Vermonter

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Stoddard: Bill Ryerson, Global Vermonter 

See: http://digital.vpr.net/post/stoddard-bill-ryerson-global-vermonter

In his office in Shelburne VT, Bill Ryerson, founder and president of Population Media Center or PMC is unassuming, as he jokes about a foot-high stack of folders on his desk he still needs to deal with at the end of the day, before resuming a relentless travel schedule.

 
(Ryerson) Well, next week I will be in Washington DC speaking at the International Best Practices Meeting. The following day I’m speaking at the Inter-American Development Bank and have several other meetings. Then I fly to Ethiopia. I’ll spend nine days there with our country representative, meeting with donor agencies like UN agencies and embassies, to seek their support for what we hope will be our ninth program on Radio Ethiopia.

 
He’s pitching soap opera as one of the most powerful catalysts for social change. Ryerson has worked in more than 50 countries using the power of entertainment media to shift behavior patterns. PMC’s popular radio and TV serial dramas with compelling characters as role models, have led to significant change in both attitude and actions.

 
(Ryerson) We’ve reached well over a hundred million people. We have clearly seen dramatic increases in family planning use, dramatic increases in willingness to send daughters to school, which of course is a very important factor in both human rights, the human rights of women to be educated, and in delaying marriage and child-bearing until adulthood.

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Barber Shop and Beauty Salon Program Extends Family Planning Services to Liberians

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Barber Shop and Beauty Salon Program Extends Family Planning Services to Liberians 

See: http://www.jhpiego.org/sw/content/barber-shop-and-beauty-salon-program-extends-family-planning-services-liberians

Monrovia, Liberia-When Gbeni Taylor was 16, she learned she was pregnant and worried how she would tell her family. It was a frightening and uncertain time for her and one that she would wish on no other young person. She feared her father would throw her out of the house, but her mother and other family members ensured that she remained at home and attended night school to complete her education. Gbeni’s experience is all too common in Liberia where, according to the most recent Liberia Demographic and Health Survey  2007, literacy rates are low and about one-third of girls ages 15 to 19 have begun childbearing.

 
In hospitals in Monrovia, says Gbeni, “you see babies carrying babies. We need to talk to them. They don’t know. They do it out of ignorance.”
Gbeni’s life changing experience, as well as seeing her friends become mothers when they were too young, led the 21-year-old hair stylist to participate in an innovative program in Liberia to educate young women about properly spacing their families. The barber shop and beauty salon family planning program, an initiative under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), trains employees of beauty salons and barber shops to provide family planning messages, condoms and referrals to a nearby hospital for family planning services. A total of 16 workers have been trained in four salons and shops. Since 2012, they have reached 1,100 clients and distributed 16,550 condoms through this initiative.

See: http://www.jhpiego.org/sw/content/barber-shop-and-beauty-salon-program-extends-family-planning-services-liberians

Congressional Candidate Trolls Anti-Choice Group With ‘Prevent Abortion’ Condoms

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Congressional Candidate Trolls Anti-Choice Group With ‘Prevent Abortion’ Condoms 

See: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/26/3475633/james-woods-abortion-condoms/

When the National Pro-Life Alliance asked congressional candidate James Woods (D-AZ) to fill out a survey about whether he supports the “sanctity of life,” Woods came back with an unusual response. He pointed out that he does support some policies proven to lower the number of unintended pregnancies, and mailed back condoms emblazoned with the phrase “prevent abortion.”

 

“Thank you for taking the time to write to me about your anti-abortion stance,” Woods replied in a letter to the right-wing group. “While I cannot support policies that jeopardize the health and stability of women and their families, there are many measures that I do support that are proven to quickly enhance the well-being of women – and to significantly reduce abortion.”

 

In his letter, the candidate went on to list several sexual health policies that can lower the abortion rate – like expanding comprehensive sex ed, ensuring greater access to birth control, and strengthening government safety net programs for low-income women and their children. “I look forward to working together with you to promote policies like these,” he concluded.

See: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/26/3475633/james-woods-abortion-condoms/

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/

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

Announcing World Vasectomy Day, 2014

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Announcing World Vasectomy Day, 2014 

See: http://worldvasectomyday.org/

On October 18th, 2013 we launched World Vasectomy Day. Our purpose was to bring attention to the issue of population on the planet and work together across borders to make a real impact.  In fact, we surpassed our goal; 100 doctors in 25 countries doing 1000 vasectomies while bringing global attention to the issue.

To reach the widest possible audience our focus and full attention is on getting men to shoulder more responsibility for family planning. It’s the right thing to do for ourselves, our partners, our families and our future.

So, on November 7th, 2014, we’re committed to inspiring 250 doctors in 30 countries to do 1500 vasectomies in 24 hours!  We’ve already hit 26 countries and have signed up close to 150 vasectomists, so we’re well on our way.  That said, WVD is not only about numbers of vasectomies, but the quality of conversations we help inspire.

Headquarters will be in Florida at a spanking new Planned Parenthood facility.  We’ll be live streaming again, sharing stories from male patients and their partners from throughout the world, live vasectomies, conversations about the most salient issues and words of wisdom from leaders in family planning. Already, the American Urological Association has sent out notices, events are popping up across the US, in Cuba and Colombia and alliances with other family planning organizations are being explored. For our part, we’re working with the participating vasectomists worldwide to help each and everyone have a successful WVD.

Please join our cause. If you’re a vasectomist, sign up and be counted. If you know someone who might be ready for the snip, let him now about WVD2014.  If you can support us at all, reach out; we’d love new ideas for how to reach a wider audience, help in getting vasectomists to sign up, bloggers who care about the issue of family planning, and any resources you can spare. Together we will make WVD 2014 a success!

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

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/