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Articles by Category for ‘Reproductive Health’

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/

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.

How the right contraceptive can change a woman’s life

Monday, August 4th, 2014

How the right contraceptive can change a woman’s life

PATH’s Sara Tifft describes the global effort that’s helping expand family planning options in four African nations, starting with Burkina Faso

See: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/partner-zone-path/contraceptive-change-womans-life

It’s about choice. All women, no matter where they live, should have access to a range of contraceptive options that allow them to make an informed choice and meets their needs – for the sake of their own health and the health of their children and communities. When a woman finds the right contraceptive, it changes her life.

This month in Burkina Faso, in the heart of west Africa, a new form of contraceptive is being launched to do just that. Sayana Press, which PATH helped to develop, has the potential to reach tens of thousands of women who want the choice of an injectable contraceptive, but who live far from clinics where the injections are given.

Sayana Press combines a lower dose formulation of the widely used contraceptive Depo-Provera® with the BD Uniject™ injection system. Uniject, which PATH developed, is a small, prefilled syringe that is easy to transport, easy to use, and designed to reach people wherever they live.

See: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/partner-zone-path/contraceptive-change-womans-life

In Ethiopia, family planning increasingly an article of faith

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

In Ethiopia, family planning increasingly an article of faith 

See: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2014/0725/In-Ethiopia-family-planning-increasingly-an-article-of-faith-video

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - Religious figures have been preaching the gospel of family planning here in Africa‘s second most populous nation. The result: a whittling of the fertility rate, and a leap in contraceptive use.

In Ethiopia, where the population is devout and widely scattered, local religious figures exercise far more authority than government officials or the young female health workers they send out across the country.

The poverty and high mortality rates in many communities have led to an unusual level of support for contraception among Ethiopia’s religious leaders. Pastors, priests, and imams are paving the way for the birth control that the government is making available for pennies.

It is a pragmatism born of problems with poverty that don’t exist in many Western countries. Religious leaders are now seen as one of the most powerful tools in development workers’ hands across sub-Saharan Africa, from Kenya to the Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

See: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2014/0725/In-Ethiopia-family-planning-increasingly-an-article-of-faith-video

With too many mouths to feed, Kenya headed for trouble

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

With too many mouths to feed, Kenya headed for trouble 

See: http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Kenya-Population-Management-Vision-2030-Resources/-/957860/2391356/-/hxm0dw/-/index.html

At 34 years, Teresia Kananu is a mother of six; five girls and one boy. Her first born is 19 years old while her last born just turned four. When she got pregnant with her first child, she had just fallen in love; the breathy, reckless kind of first love that makes an impressionable 15-year-old leave her parents’ home and move in with her boyfriend.

She had dreams for her young family, dreams that she would see her two children grow up strong and healthy and educated.

Yes, she wanted just two children, and she was determined to give them the education she never had, having dropped out of school at Standard Two after, she says, her father refused to continue paying her school fees.

Nineteen years down the line, Teresia finds herself the mother of six children, none of whom she has managed to educate beyond primary school. They all live in a two-room tin-house which looks like it can collapse at the slightest hint of a stiff wind.

Her first husband and the father of her first three children died under mysterious circumstances while in prison. She remarried, and then three more children came.

See: http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Kenya-Population-Management-Vision-2030-Resources/-/957860/2391356/-/hxm0dw/-/index.html