U.S. to Provide Family Planning for Adolescents

The US government intends to dedicate a portion of its Shs 1.7 trillion health budget on providing family planning services to adolescents and women, but admits it is facing challenges getting Ugandan authorities to buy into the idea.

The USAID Mission director in Uganda, Mark Meassick, told journalists at the US mission on Wednesday that they will give special focus on family planning and reproductive health, through providing crucial, age-appropriate information to adolescents.

With Uganda recording one of the highest incidences of teenage pregnancies in the world, according to Meassick, it is important that mechanisms to address these challenges are put in place to avert what could become a full blown crisis. But the government does not support the provision of contraception to adolescents, he added.

“One of our challenges that we are working closely with government is trying to figure out how we address family planning with adolescent girls,” he said.

“We have had discussions with the First Lady about age-appropriate sex education and so we are trying to work out details about how that will work and what that needs to look like.”


Family planning on back-burner, health dept admit lack of focus


DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand, like its neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, has reported a decline in adoption of family planning measures, says the latest report of the National Family Health Survey-4.

Health authorities are concerned over failure to popularise contraception methods aimed at controlling population.

Uttarakhand director general (health) DS Rawat accepted that the department had put family planning on the back-burner.

“The department wasn’t able to concentrate on family planning as there were other projects that needed attention. We will try to publicise contraception methods from now onwards,” he said.

The survey conducted for married women, aged between 15 and 49 years, reported a decline of nearly 6% in overall contraception methods used in the state from 2005-06 to 2015-16. The male sterilisation percentage, which was meagre, has recorded a significant drop. Female sterilisation also registered a fall.

Soon, Maharashtra government to roll out injectable contraceptive

PUNE: Injectable contraceptive, which was within the reach of affluent few till recently, will soon be made available for the underprivileged at public hospitals for free.

The state government has received 80,000 injectable contraceptive doses through the Union government under its National Family Welfare Programme. It will be made available at government-run medical colleges attached hospitals, district hospitals and hospitals for women within next two weeks.

Experts, however, said the injectable contraceptive should only be given after proper counselling where women should be explained about the possible side-effects, including irregularity in menstrual cycle. Besides, its long-term use can have adverse effect on body’s calcium mineralisation.

Currently, the government offers five birth-control options free-of-cost in the family planning programme, including female sterilization, male sterilization, intrauterine device, condoms and pills.

African Leaders and 4,200 Midwives Unite to Call for Urgent Global Policy Reform and Recognition to Help Save One Million Lives Per Year

The International Confederation of Midwives, Toyin Saraki and former Tanzanian President, Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete have united health leaders at a high-level health forum to address the global state of midwifery.

Skilled and educated midwives can provide 87% of essential healthcare needed during pregnancy and following birth – even in low resource settings. It is estimated that through their intervention, 56% of maternal, fetal, and newborn deaths could be prevented – a million lives each year. However, urgent global policy reform and recognition of the profession by governments and donors is needed to help midwives achieve this.

The high-level forum brought together government representatives, heads of agencies and global advocates to identify ways to address the global state of midwifery. The forum was hosted by the International Confederation of Midwives as part of their 31st Triennial Congress, a flagship event for midwives taking place in Toronto this week.  It was convened by H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and Founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa.

Maternal and Newborn Health Conference adopts 16-Count Resolutions

Stakeholders at a two-day Maternal and Newborn Health Conference in Grand Bassa County have pledged to collectively intensify their efforts to address the major causes of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality as well as improve the health and wellbeing of the Grand Bassa people. Conference participants were unanimous in their declaration that there should be No Home Delivery.

The over 150 participants’ recommitment was contained in a 16-count resolution adopted at the end of the conference held at the Unification Pavilion in Buchanan City on June 13 & 14, 2017. In their resolution the participants reminded all stakeholders, especially the County Administration, County Health Team (CHT) and Community leaders to ensure full implementation of the resolutions.

Reaffirming their dedication, the County administration including County Superintendent, Statutory Districts Superintendents, District Commissioners, and Paramount Chiefs), promised to demonstrate their support in leadership and resource mobilization; ensure coordination and collaboration among different sectors such as education and gender; and ensure the enforcement of fines and penalties for violators as agreed upon at the conference.


Why many Kenyans are opting for unsafe abortions

According to Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organisation that seeks to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, Kenya recorded 469,690 cases of induced abortion in 2012.

This corresponded to induced abortion ratio of 30 abortions per 100 births in the same year. Abortion remains a highly stigmatised issue in the society. Even though the law permits abortion in some cases, many people still consider it illegal.

This perception has forced victims of unintended pregnancy, especially girls, to resort to dangerous methods of terminating such pregnancies. Such processes have led to related complications including infections due to use of sterilised instruments and worst of all, deaths.

MSI CEO Simon Cooke reflects on the passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin


May I add my own condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA.

I was fortunate to work closely with Dr Osotimehin on the FP2020 Reference Group and during that time I witnessed first-hand his profound commitment to women and girls and their right to access modern contraception, information and services. He was a tireless advocate for family planning and reaching the most underserved and marginalised in the communities in which we work. Personally, he made me feel welcome – as someone new – into a sector that has worked tirelessly for so long to realise the right of every individual to sexual and reproductive health. Professionally, Dr Osotimehin brought a welcome wit and charm to the Reference Group meetings.

His sudden passing was a profound shock. I and my Marie Stopes International colleagues around the globe will continue to work to achieve the vision that Dr Osotimehin worked so passionately towards, for the girls and women of the world.


Simon Cooke

CEO, Marie Stopes International

Mourning the Loss of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Leader, Women’s Rights Champion, and Friend

QM_FP2020-81Statement from Dr. Chris Elias, President of the Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Co-Chair, the FP2020 Reference Group:

The world has lost one of the most effective and forthright champions for women’s health and rights. Babatunde Osotimehin was never afraid to speak out on behalf of women and girls. I first met him when he was the leader of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS, where he played an early and instrumental role in empowering women and girls to protect themselves and their families from infection. Over the past five years, I have had the honor of working side by side with Dr. Babatunde as co-chair of the FP2020 Reference Group. His tireless dedication to FP2020’s mission was driven by his deep personal commitment to create a world where all girls could grow up proud and strong—just like his three beloved daughters. I extend my heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Dr. Babatunde’s family and wish them comfort in the knowledge that his work has changed millions of lives for the better – and will continue to do so as a lasting part of his legacy.

Statement from Beth Schlachter, Executive Director, Family Planning 2020:

We join millions of others whose lives were touched by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in expressing our sorrow at his unexpected passing. Dr. Babatunde worked tirelessly on behalf of the rights of women and girls in every corner of the planet. He was also a thoughtful and dedicated champion of the work of Family Planning 2020, and was an integral architect of the partnership as it stands today. UNFPA embraced both the idea and the reality of FP2020, a true reflection of the heart that Dr. Babatunde brought to the partnership. He served as both our Reference Group co-chair and as an exuberant champion of our work. We will miss him terribly, but will be driven by his vision and commitment to ensuring the self-determination of women and girls. We offer our deep condolences to his family and to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Additional Statements from the Family Planning Community:

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