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Articles by Category for ‘Public Health’

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

 

Call for Applications, Deadline 8/22/2014

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Call for Applications:

See: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=302c6990dc3b5cfe595793def&id=b1d248218a&e=7ac8664768

The OASIS Initiative is currently seeking nominations for Fellows and for facilitators for theSahel Leadership Program (PLS). The PLS will be co-hosted by Abdou Moumouni University (UAM) in Niamey, the Higher Institute of Population Sciences (ISSP) based at the University of Ouagadougou (UO) in Burkina Faso and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

The PLS is a unique and visionary program, aiming to catalyze an active and engaged network of development professionals with a common vision for the Sahel. We will recruit approximately 20 emerging leaders in research, policy and development programs from Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad. The costs of participation will be fully covered by the program. Selected fellows will strengthen their skills in multidisciplinary collaboration while gaining knowledge about the interactions between population, climate and sustainable agriculture, and in the crucial role of girls and women in development.

The success and sustainability of this program depends on you. Please share information about this exciting opportunity with your professional networks, especially with potentially qualified candidates. More information about the program and the application form are available at www.oasisinitiative.org/pls. If you know of any dynamic facilitators whom you would like to recommend with expertise in sustainable agriculture, girls education and empowerment, or family planning, please contact Paige Passano toinfo@oasisinitiative.org.

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

US, African leaders must tackle child marriage

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

US, African leaders must tackle child marriage 

See: https://www.devex.com/news/us-african-leaders-must-tackle-child-marriage-84051
This week, more than 40 African heads of state are in Washington, D.C., for the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The theme is “Investing in the Next Generation,” which is fitting given the youthful demographics of the continent and the significant issues the next generation faces – from recent abductions of Nigerian schoolgirls to unemployment and forced recruitment of child soldiers, to name a few.

I hope the Obama administration will use this opportunity to lead for girls and announce new commitments to end child, early and forced marriage. Evidence compiled by the International Center for Research on Women and others has consistently shown that adolescent girls are among the most vulnerable to rights abuses and are yet the best-positioned to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future when they have a fair chance – a decent education, access to health care and the opportunity to contribute economically.

However, these opportunities escape child brides, who are less likely to finish their education, more likely to experience violence, sexually transmitted infections, early pregnancy and complications in childbirth, typically living a life of domestic servitude. This is not only a violation of their fundamental human rights, but also an unnecessary and avoidable challenge to the outcomes African leaders gathering this week seek – more educated, healthy and productive societies.

See: https://www.devex.com/news/us-african-leaders-must-tackle-child-marriage-84051

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

The Next Phase of the Birth Control War: Religious Discrimination Lawsuits

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The Next Phase of the Birth Control War: Religious Discrimination Lawsuits 

See: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-next-phase-of-the-birth-control-war-religious-discrimination-cases.html

As more states push bills to strip family planning funding from Planned Parenthoods, or relocate funding so that Planned Parenthood affiliates are last in line, other clinics that provide care to low-income and uninsured residents will be forced to shoulder the burden of reproductive health care services, especially when it comes to offering birth control.

Yet, as a case in Florida shows us, those clinics are now being drawn into the war on contraception thanks to “pro-life” medical specialists who are seeking positions within those networks with absolutely no intention of providing the full range of services the clinics were set up to offer. And sadly, refusing to hire these people won’t work as then you’d be facing a discrimination lawsuit.

The Florida Lawsuit

Sara Hellwege applied for a job at Tampa Family Health Centers (TFHC), but was turned down. According to lawyers representing Hellwege, by refusing her an interview after noting that she was a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) and learning that she would refuse to offer hormonal contraception, TFHC has discriminated against her on the basis of her religion.

See: http://www.care2.com/causes/the-next-phase-of-the-birth-control-war-religious-discrimination-cases.html

Keeping pace with population growth

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Keeping pace with population growth 

See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61130-2/fulltext

By Vladimíra Kantorová, Ann Biddlecom, Holly Newby

July 11 marks World Population Day, calling attention to the crucial part that population growth plays in meeting the health needs of a global population projected to reach 7·3 billion people in 2015 when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to an end.1 The region of sub-Saharan Africa faces particular challenges, where the population is projected to nearly double from 510 million people in 1990 to 989 million in 2015, driven mainly by high fertility and large cohorts of women of reproductive age.
When compared to other regions, sub-Saharan Africa is often described as lagging behind in terms of MDG progress on reproductive health. Looking at the absolute numbers of people reached, however, reveals unrecognised efforts made by countries in the region. For example, the percentage of women who received at least four antenatal care visits during pregnancy from skilled health personnel increased minimally over the past two decades, from 48% in 1990 to 50% in 2012 (figure).2 However, the estimated number of births for which mothers had received four antenatal visits increased by 61%. Moderate progress in increasing coverage of skilled attendance at birth (from 40% in 1990 to 53% in 2012) also masks a substantial increase in the absolute number of births attended by a skilled health provider, doubling from an estimated 9 million births in 1990 to 18 million births in 2012.

Global Poverty Levels Halved But More Africans In Extreme Poverty Than In 1990: UN Report

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Global Poverty Levels Halved But More Africans In Extreme Poverty Than In 1990: UN Report 

See: http://www.ibtimes.com/global-poverty-levels-halved-more-africans-extreme-poverty-1990-un-report-1621680

While the world has managed to slash the number of poor people by half in the last 20 years, more people in sub-Saharan Africa now live in a state of extreme poverty and hunger than ever before, according to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals report publishedMonday.

According to the 2014 edition of the report, the global target for reducing poverty by half was achieved five years ahead of schedule and the number of poor people — those living on less than $1.25 a day — had halved to 18 percent in 2010 from 36 percent of the population in 1990. However, the number of those people living in extreme poverty in the sub-Saharan region increased to 414 million in 2010 from 290 million in 1990.

“We know that achievements have been uneven between goals, among and within regions and countries, and between population groups,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in a foreword to the report. The Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, signed by all UN member states in 2000, aim to reduce, among other things, world poverty and hunger to half of 1990 levels by 2015.

While the number of undernourished and stunted children below the age of five fell to 25 percent of the world’s population in 2010 from 40 percent in 1990, in sub-Saharan Africa, this number rose to 58 million from 44 million. The report warned that, owing to an increase in the poverty level in the region, sub-Saharan Africa is unlikely to meet any of its MDG targets.

See: http://www.ibtimes.com/global-poverty-levels-halved-more-africans-extreme-poverty-1990-un-report-1621680