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2015+: A Conversation about Youth Sexual and Reproductive Rights

By: Maria Inés Romero (26, Paraguay) and Wieke Vink (20, the Netherlands), members of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

2015+.JPGThis next blog in our series "2015+" is a conversation between two Youth Coalition members (ages 20 and 26) about youth sexual and reproductive rights and why they think it’s important to put young people at the heart of the next development agenda. Read more...

Additional Contraceptive Services Needed to Reduce Unsafe Abortions in Colombia

A new report released by the Guttmacher Institute and Fundación Oriéntame assesses that the number of induced abortions in Colombia rose between 1989 and 2008. Despite this, the country’s abortion rate rose only minimally; indicating a rise in the number of reproductive aged women as the reason for growth. Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Colombia: Causes and Consequences, points to the criminal nature of abortions by the Colombian government as the major source of complications and health risks to women. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Leveraging the ‘Foot Ambulance’ in Filipino Villages

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

For generations, men in the villages nestled in the remote mountains of the Ifugao province in the northern Philippines have used the “ayod” or hammock to carry the sick to hospitals and medical facilities. Now, this traditional “foot ambulance” is increasingly becoming the heart of a community-grown maternal health system that is saving the lives of women and girls and keeping families and communities intact in this rural area. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Coffee Partnership Works to Prevent Cervical Cancer

coffee_beans.jpgBy: Kristin Rosella, Program Associate for Strategic Partnerships for Women Deliver

Thousands of women in low-resource areas of Mexico, Nicaragua, and Tanzania are now getting life-saving cervical cancer screenings through a unique public-private partnership between Grounds for Health, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, and coffee-farming cooperatives. Read more...

2015+: A World Without the MDGs

2015+.JPGBy: Dr. Frederick Torgbor Sai, a Ghanaian family health physician and honorary co-chair of Women Deliver 2010 conference

The eight MDGs are too well known to warrant repetition here. MDG 5 asked for a reduction of the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 2000 and 2015. Other goals related directly to MDG 5 are focused on child health, improvement in women’s status and the reduction of poverty. The attainment of all the other MDGs would also influence MDG 5, as would its attainment also impact all the others. Read more...

Ensuring Universal Access to Reproductive Health Supplies

Helping women around the world gain universal access to reproductive health supplies demands that the development community pursue three strategies across the next five “especially critical” years, according to the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. This period will see the global community intensify efforts to meet Millennium Development Goal 5 to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Kenya to Spend $3.4 Million to Give Free Sanitary Pads to School Girls

kenya_girl.JPGBy: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

The Kenyan finance ministry this month announced plans to allocate $3.4 million in the current fiscal budget to provide free sanitary pads to school girls in an effort to remove a major barrier to education in the east African nation. Read more...

IPPF Releases One-Year Evaluation of World Bank’s Reproductive Health Action Plan

In a newly released evaluative report, the International Planned Parenthood Federation commends the World Bank for its commitment to sexual and reproductive health as shown through its implementation of the first year of the Reproductive Health Action Plan. However, it also calls on the bank to more closely monitor reproductive health (RH) indicators and increase collaboration with countries to better integrate RH into health systems strengthening programs and national policies. Read more...?

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Contraceptive Use in Timor-Leste

By: Rati Bishnoi, Special Projects Intern at Women Deliver

timor_leste_pregnant_woman.jpgWhile Timor-Leste obtained independence almost 10 years ago, it continues to suffer the aftereffects of a decades-long independence struggle against Indonesia and to face many challenges, such as building its health system and lowering its high fertility and maternal mortality rates. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Promoting Change in Reproductive Behavior in Bihar

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Communications Specialist at Women Deliver

In Bihar, one of India’s least developed and most populous states, men and women seeking information on contraceptives have faced barriers of all kinds: cultural, financial and socio-economic. The need for action is apparent: 58 percent of the population is under age 25, the median age of marriage for women from traditional villages is 15, and 28 percent of women give birth to their first child before the age of 18. In response, Pathfinder’s Promoting Change in Reproductive Behavior (PRACHAR) Project has been working since 2001 to transform attitudes and behaviors around contraceptive use and demand, with the aim of delaying and spacing pregnancies among adolescents and newlywed couples. Read more...

Youth Campaigning in “10 Days of Activism”

DoA-logo.jpgWant to see how young people from 50 countries all over the world find a way to come together in action for 10 days?

There are 1.8 billion young people in the world today, who make up 1/3rd of the world’s population. Below 90% of them live in developing countries – a number that will increase in the next 20 years. Y-PEER launches a 10-days campaign between July 1st – 10th, 2011 within the International Year of Youth (IYY). The goal of the campaign is to bring young people and youth organizations from 50 countries around the world together, unite forces and make their voice heard on youth issues including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). “10 Days of Activism” will take place simultaneously at national, regional and international levels and will be matched by a social media campaign. Read more...

Midwives Save Lives: Launch of The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011

Nearly 3.6 million lives could be saved in 58 developing countries around the world with scaled-up midwifery services, according to a report launched today by UNFPA and partners called The State of the World’s Midwifery 2011. Of these 58 countries, 38 were found to be lagging behind in meeting MDG 5 (reducing maternal mortality by 75%). Unless an additional 112,000 midwives are trained, deployed and retained in supportive environments, these 38 countries might not meet their target to achieve 95 percent coverage of births by skilled attendants by 2015, as required by Millennium Development Goal 5, on maternal health. Globally, 350,000 midwives are still lacking. Read more...

Ending HIV Starts With Women

By: Serra Sippel, President of the Center for Health and Gender Equity in Washington, D.C.; originally posted on the Huffington Post

We can end HIV/AIDS right now if we want to. We already know how. We know how it is transmitted; we know how to prevent and treat it. We are just not doing what it takes to end it.

The United States and other countries represented at the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, which starts today, can change that. Unfortunately, there are already signs that we are going to stay the same failed course. Some country delegations, led by the Holy See (note: a non-member state with no epidemic that is neither a donor or aid recipient country), are working to block all references in the final outcome document to womens rights and access to sexual and reproductive health services. Despite the fact that sexual transmission is the number one way HIV is spread, despite the fact that women account for half of all people globally living with HIV, some countries would rather pursue a moralistic agenda around sex and women than put an end to AIDS.

Delivering Real Results and Resources for Girls and Women

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver

Last week, the UN Commission on Women and Children’s Health released the final report, “Keeping Promises, Measuring Results,” with recommendations that will serve to hold countries and organizations accountable for the commitments they make to save the lives of girls, women and children around the world. I am honored to have been a part of this Commission. The brief and intense process has produced an accountability framework to deliver real results and resources for girls and women through monitoring, review and action. Read more...

Survival of women and newborns in crisis

BY: Kate Kerber and Ribka Amsalu; Originally posted on the Healthy Newborn Network (HNN) here

Imagine you are eight months pregnant with your third child with two other young children at home. The ground starts moving violently beneath you and panic sets in. You flee your collapsing home with your children. The aftershocks are intense and dramatic. You have lost family members and friends in the chaos and confusion. The earthquake devastates the healthcare system, leaving you no choice but to deliver your baby alone, or if you are fortunate, in a mobile or temporary clinic. Read more...

Young People and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria: Youth e-consultation

By: Esther Agbarakwe & Kikelomo Taiwo, Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders; posted on the WRA blog here

Globally between 350,000 and 550,000 girls and women die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth every year, while 10-20 million girls and women suffer from maternal morbidities according to UNFPA. Each death represents a family’s loss of a sister, daughter, partner, mother, or friend. Early sexual exposure is an important reproductive risk factor among young people in Nigeria as many of them lack information and life planning skills to delay the onset of sexual activities. Read more...

New UN Report Says Invest in Youth, Women, Reproductive Health to Reduce Poverty

Investments in young people, women’s empowerment and reproductive health, including family planning, are critical to boosting least developed countries’ productive capacity and speeding their escape from poverty, according to a new report by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The report, “Population Dynamics and Poverty in the LDCs: Challenges and Opportunities for Development and Poverty Reduction”, says that the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs) have a large and rapidly growing youth population, with some 60 per cent of their population under the age of 25. Read more...

USAID Experts Talk Women’s Health in Impact Magazine

USAID marks its 50th Anniversary this year. In the latest issue of PSI’s Impact magazine, Editor-in-Chief Marshall Stowell interviews senior USAID officials, including Susan Brems, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, and Scott Radloff, Director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health. Both share their thoughts on improving the health of women in developing countries and new technologies that promise to advance these efforts. Check out the interviews at www.psi.org/impact6.

Marching to Celebrate the Indispensable Midwife

By: Joy Marini, Director of Corporate Contributions for Johnson & Johnson, Maternal and Child Health 

midwives.jpgOne day after the International Day of the Midwife, I am gathering with colleagues in Africa to discuss how we can help address the shortage of global health workers.

In sub-Saharan Africa, many women give birth alone, and without a skilled attendant such as a midwife, there is no one to address the complications of child delivery or to advise a pregnant woman to seek more skilled care. In fact, more women in this region die during pregnancy and childbirth than any other place on earth – claiming as many as one in eight lives. Read more...

International Day of the Midwife

By: Janna Oberdorf, Director of Communications and Outreach for Women Deliver

Today, May 5th, is International Day of the Midwife. The world needs midwives now more than ever. The World Health Organization, UN agencies and other global partners have identified that midwives are key to achieving reductions in maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities globally, yet there is a serious shortage. Read more... and get inspired by three midwives honored on the Women Deliver 100 list of the most inspiring people delivering for girls and women, below.

Juliette_Coulibaly.jpgImtiaz_Kamal.jpgdorothy-ngoma.JPG

Juliette Coulibaly, Côte d'Ivoire / Imtiaz Kamal, Pakistan / Dorothy Ngoma, Malawi

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