Nigeria – How barriers to family planning trigger rise in maternal mortality

How barriers to family planning trigger rise in maternal mortality

By Adaku Onyenucheya
28 November 2019

Experts have emphasised on the need for Nigerians to embrace family planning fully as part of measures to curb maternal and infant mortality in the country.

They lamented that despite the drop in the fertility rate from 5.5 percent in 2013 to 5.3 percent in 2018, according to the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), with a two-percent increase in the total contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from 15 percent to 17 percent, the acceptance rate of family planning in some communities still remain low due to several barriers such as religion, culture and fear of the unknown among others. The implications, they said, remain multiple pregnancies and births, population explosion that puts pressure of the nation resources, as well as unsafe abortions, which increases the risk of maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria.


India – A pregnant silence on reproductive rights of women

A pregnant silence on reproductive rights of women
The country needs to recognise the wrongs and affirm the rights for advancing women’s sexual and reproductive health

Monday, 25 November 2019
Prabhleen Tuteja

Young women (15-24 years) constitute 11 per cent of India’s population, out of whom 41 per cent have faced sexual violence, 27 per cent are married before the legal age and 7.8 per cent (15-19 years) become mothers or are pregnant. The data on access to information on contraceptives reveals that only 17.7 per cent were informed about family planning by health workers and just 6.9 per cent women in Bihar and 11.6 per cent in Uttar Pradesh (UP) reported using contraceptives within marriage.

The policy level commitments on health, education and gender parity often look in absolute terms of changing certain societal norms through cash transfer based schemes, number of girls reported to be married before the legal age of marriage, status of body mass index and nutrition and sometimes enrollment in school and skill development among women. While evidence in these parameters are significant, this skewed approach to gender equality leaves out a range of issues, including prevalence of sexual violence and status of accessible sexual and reproductive health services. Stigma and fear attached to young women’s sexuality act as a major barrier in achieving gender equality.


Nigeria – A tragedy of choice!

A tragedy of choice!

On November 23, 2019
by Urowayino Jeremiah

Abortion! I’d almost forgotten that such a word exists until last Thursday. The gist was that a former neighbour’s teenage daughter died last week due to complications from an illegal abortion. No sooner had I walked into my regular salon in the area, did my hair dresser, wearing a forlorn face ask if I had stopped at Mummy Seni’s house. I said no and asked why. “Did something happen to her?

“So you have not heard. Jumoke, Mummy Seni’s daughter is dead oh!!


Kenya – Why doctors should tell teens about contraceptives

Why doctors should tell teens about contraceptives

Njeri Mbugua
Nov 23, 2019

Failure by health care personnel to discuss contraception with young people who are just about to start engaging in sexual activity potentially increases unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

This is according to a report on young voices about future scenarios and contraception released in Nairobi on Tuesday.


Report: International Conference on Population & Development+25

International Conference on Population & Development+25
Nairobi, Kenya, 12-13-14 November 2019

Press Release: 22 November 2019

What was it about: some history

This conference has taken place every five years, beginning in 1994. At each follow-up meeting, the overarching purpose has been to measure progress (and the lack of progress) in implementing the 1994 Programme of Action, which was agreed by acclamation by the representatives of 179 countries, and the follow-up actions added at subsequent conferences. An excellent summary of the aims, goals and history of the conference can be found here and a 20th anniversary edition of the Programme of Action can be found here along with a global report on progress published in 2014.

In 1994, UNFPA, the conference convenor, described the Programme of Action as: “a bold new vision about the relationships between population, development and individual well-being… remarkable in its recognition that [sexual and] reproductive health and reproductive rights, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are cornerstones of population and development programmes. The Consensus is rooted in principles of human rights and respect for national sovereignty and various religious and cultural backgrounds.


Indian Women Are Fighting Stigma by Sharing Their Personal Abortion Stories

Indian Women Are Fighting Stigma by Sharing Their Personal Abortion Stories
The My Body My Choice campaign is creating a safe space through which abortion can be discussed and understood openly by women in India.

by Meera Navlakha
20 November 2019

“I had just turned 26, my partner was without a job [and] I was struggling to figure out life,” said one anonymous woman in a post released on Instagram by the My Body My Choice campaign. She explains how she found out she was pregnant, after days of feeling dizzy. “What began after that was an excruciating process of figuring out how, when and where to seek an abortion.”

“My stomach would cramp all of a sudden and I’d feel the deepest sense of loss,” said another woman, describing her abortion story.


Tanzania – Stigma a factor in unsafe abortions in Lake Zone

Stigma a factor in unsafe abortions in Lake Zone

by Lusekelo Philemon
Nov 19, 2019

At the time, Epiphania was only in Form Three. Things became more complicated when she thought of how to break the news of the pregnancy, taking into account that her father was a senior and respected church member.

She thought of the community and her colleagues—she was one of the choir members in the church. Worse still, Epiphania was also confused when she came to realize that the man behind the pregnancy was nowhere to be seen.


‘Turkey should step up efforts on zero target for mother deaths’

'Turkey should step up efforts on zero target for mother deaths'

Barçın Yinanç - NAIROBI
November 18 2019

Professor Ayşe Akın received a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) award last week in Nairobi, Kenya at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICDP25) for her contribution to the health of women at the global and national levels since 1994, when the first ICDP took place in Cairo, which she had also attended.

Can you give us an overview of Turkey’s population policies?

The new republic’s population was 13 million at the end of the war of liberation, when a lot of men had lost their lives. Modern Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had endorsed a pro-natal policy, but he has no forceful statement on the record.


Women being pushed to the margins of society in Guatemala

Women being pushed to the margins of society in Guatemala
Violence and discrimination are routine and many die in childbirth from largely preventable causes

Nov 18, 2019
Aisling Walsh, Naomi Elster, Guatemala City

Guatemala is marketed across the globe as the “Heart of the Mayan World”. Photographs of spectacular jungle pyramids and smiling indigenous women, carried on Piccadilly buses in London and splashed across screens in new York’s Times Square, promote a tourism industry worth almost $3.4 billion (€3 billion) a year.

On arriving in Guatemala, it is easy to recognise the vivid colours of Mayan traditional clothing and the dramatic scenery of imposing volcanoes, shimmering lakes and dense forests sliced into steep hills and sharp ravines.


Nepal – Bajura sees growth in access to safe abortion services

Bajura sees growth in access to safe abortion services

Published On: November 17, 2019
By: Krishna Oli

BAJURA, Nov 17: Bajura, a remote district in the far western hills of the country, has fared well in terms of safe abortion. As per the government record, as many as 865 women received safe abortion service through government-run health centers in the district. Of the total 28 health centers in the district, 15 health centers have been providing abortion service to women.

Chief of the District Hospital Bajura, Dr Rupchandra Bishwokarma, finds the scenario encouraging. In the past, women would commonly use unsafe ways to end unwanted pregnancy, but as the safer facilities have been made accessible they have started seeking medical help for abortion, he noted.