Daily Digests: Postpartum Family Planning Global Meeting

From June 7-11, FP2020, in technical partnership with Jhpiego, hosted 175 participants from 20 countries to accelerate efforts on the implementation of postpartum family planning (PPFP).  Forty presenters from around the world discussed state-of-the-art technical knowledge and programming experience in PPFP. Interactive learning sessions, small working groups and country-specific action plans for PPFP were developed over the course of the week.

Catch up on the action with FP2020’s daily digests, which highlight key moments, fast facts and resources:

Dakar call for action

In 29th November 2016, the delegates assembled in Dakar, Senegal for 13th International Inter-Ministerial Conference of PPD on Priority Population and Development Challenges in the Context of SDGs reaffirmed their willingness and commitments; to accord highest urgency to post 2014 ICPD engagement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) achievement through redoubled efforts to collectively address the priority population and development challenges in the context of SDGs. As an output document of the conference Dakar call for Action was adopted.

Please find below the link of the Dakar call for Action.
[ English ] [ French ]

Act now to stop maternal health violations

Last week, news broke of a pregnant woman who was turned away from a public hospital and as a result lost her baby due to the delay in getting medical attention.

While this woman’s story sparked national outrage, the mistreatment of pregnant women seeking maternal health care is a common occurrence throughout Kenya, which is only exacerbated by the current doctors’ strike.

This woman was denied medical attention at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Nairobi, a facility that has been in the news previously for the mistreatment of women.

In 2012, two women, Margaret and Maimuna, were illegally detained at the hospital for their inability to pay their hospital bills. They were subjected to physical, mental and verbal abuse. Both women sued the hospital and the government for human rights violations. As a result, in 2015, the High Court of Kenya ordered the Ministry of Health to stop the discrimination and abuse experienced by women in public hospitals, and Nairobi County to compensate Margaret and Maimuna for the violation of their rights.

Margaret and Maimuna represent scores of women across the country, but most of them are never able to access justice for violations of their rights.

The Constitution states that every person has a right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes reproductive health services. And even though President Uhuru Kenyatta mandated that public health facilities provide free, universal maternal health services in 2013, pregnant women are still routinely denied admission.

Gov’t secures sh450b loan to fight maternal, child mortality

Government has secured a loan of over sh450b from World Bank through Global Financing Facility to support the Every Woman Every Child program to help end maternal and child mortality.

The programme which begins in the next five years is designed to provide transport for women in distant places to deliver from health centres and also motivate the health workers.

Dr. Ruth Aceng the Minister of Health said the benefiting health centres will receive the funds basing on results of the deliveries conducted and children treated safely.

Aceng added that the money will not be for personal issues but to improve on the equipment, and the infrastructure of the health centres.

“The other aspect is to support districts that have health facilities that are poorly performing and the infrastructure is bad. This is given to them to so that they can build themselves to a level where they are able to handle results based financing” the minister added.

The minister made the remarks during the national launch of meningitis vaccination for the 39 districts from in the African meningitis belt that covers greater north. The event was held at Lalogi sub county headquarters in Omoro district on Tuesday.

Vaccination will commence on Thursday to Monday for all people in the age bracket of 1-29 years.

She conceded that the ministry has failed to lower maternal mortality because of high teenage pregnancy with northern and eastern Uganda leading in the country.

According to the recent demographic health survey, death during delivery in Uganda stands at 438 per 100,000 live births with the biggest contribution from teenage pregnancy.

“Some girls of eight years are getting pregnant. In olden days this was an abomination, which is no longer the case. Men are now taking it normal,” she added.

Aceng noted if girls with immature bodies are subjected to motherhood, they become a liability to the government because they don’t have the potential to be economically productive in the society.

The deputy speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah asked parents to teach their children well as was the case in the past.

Oulanyah who is also the area Member of Parliament said men producing with young girls also feel embarrassed to escort their “partners” for antenatal care.

“District councils must come out with bylaws. This is a problem of seeing little children carrying babys of mature men,” he said.

“Respect children, girls please keep safe. This tendency of moving up and down looking for what you don’t know should stop,” he added.

Dr. Tarande Manzila Constant the World Health Organisation representative at the function said of the global cases caused by meningitis type A, 90% of them occur in African continent.

He added that even when there’s vaccination and care, at least 10% of the affected people die of the epidemic while 20% of the survivors develop serious prominent health problems.

Restoring reproductive health access for millions in Boko Haram-affected areas

A brutal attack by Boko Haram forced Zainab Abubakar, 28, and her six children to flee their home in northern Nigeria. “I was one month pregnant when I left Gamboru Ngala,” Ms. Abubakar told UNFPA from the Dalori displacement camp in Maiduguri. “During my escape, I lost my pregnancy.”

Ms. Abubakar’s tragic miscarriage took place in 2014, but the Boko Haram crisis continues to drive women and girls from their homes – and from access to basic health care.

An estimated 26 million people live in conflict-affected areas of Nigeria, according to the 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview, and some 14 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. In the three states worst affected by the insurgency – Adamawa, Borno and Yobe – some 1.64 million people have been displaced from their homes, according to recent UN reports.

UNFPA estimates that, among the vulnerable population, 1,725,000 women of reproductive age will require life-saving reproductive health services in 2017.

“For women and girls – especially pregnant women, who may face life-threatening childbirth complications, as well as lactating women, caring for newborns throughout the chaos – whether they live or die in a crisis often depends on their access to basic sexual and reproductive health services,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of UNFPA, during a recent mission to northern Nigeria.

Makeshift justice the only recourse for ill-protected women at South Sudan camp

It is late afternoon when the white Jeep pulls up outside a compound attached to one of the largest camps for families fleeing South Sudan’s civil war. Accompanied by two UN police officers, a woman steps out and walks briskly past a rusty shipping container holding the man who allegedly raped her less than 24 hours earlier.

In a country where UN investigators say sexual violence remains ignored despite having reached “epic proportions” – one survey found 70% of women in such camps said they had been raped since conflict erupted in December 2013 – this is a rare example of action being taken.

The alleged incident illustrates not just the bleak reality facing women at the sprawling Malakal protection of civilians (PoC) camp, but also the shortcomings of international peacekeepers and the makeshift nature of justice at what is supposedly a place of safety for 33,000 people.

USAID Support Saved Lives and Improved Family Health

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and its partners Pathfinder and John Snow, Inc., marked the successful completion of the Integrated Family Health Program, its flagship maternal, newborn and child health support and family planning program. The program enhanced the capacity and built the skills of public sector health care providers and civil society organizations in 300 woredas (districts) of Amhara, Benshangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Somali, Tigray, and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regions.

Since July 2008, Ethiopia has seen significant improvements in the 300 woredas where the program was implemented, such as women using contraceptive from 27 to 56 percent. Additionally, maternal and newborn health is better, and there has been positive progress in most child health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and malaria outcomes as a result of the joint efforts between USAID and the Government of Ethiopia. These achievements were partly due to training thousands of service providers including health extension workers that resulted in major health improvements.

Furthermore, the program led to positive trends in sustaining management approaches at different levels of the health sector through domestic resource mobilization of health facilities, such as income generation to improve quality of services provided.

The program helped to expand health practices at the household and community level such as more mothers giving birth at health facilities. In addition, the program strengthened health systems at every level. As a result, the availability and quality of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services was improved.

Speaking at the event, USAID’s Deputy Mission Director Ramona El Hamzaoui stated, “We also know that this program has substantially contributed to the achievement of the national reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health targets and goals of reducing maternal deaths from 16,000 to 10,000 and child deaths from 178,000 to 123,000 in just the past five years. This was reflected in the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey.”

Pathfinder and John Snow, Inc., implemented the nearly $110 million program reaching 37.8 million people. USAID will continue working to improve maternal and child health through its Transform awards, which will be implemented in all regions of Ethiopia to support the Ministry of Health’s ambitious Health Sector Transformation Plan goals

When restriction on abortion turns a human rights issue

When we meet Asyiah Nagudi, at her a single roomed rented house in Mukono District, tears flow down her cheeks as she recounts the economic hardships she has gone through in the past one year.

Nagudi says her husband abandoned her in 2015 on learning that she was pregnant with their second child.

“I cannot afford two meals a day for my two children,” she says.
The 25-year-old says she conceived six months after her first birth, something that irritated her husband leading to their separation.
But Nagudi has since blamed the disputed pregnancy on an injectable hormonal contraception that failed her.

“I was shocked to find that I was pregnant again,” says the mother of two regrettably adding; “I would have aborted but I did not have an opportunity. I had no choice.”

DOH to ‘pursue but won’t rush’ condoms distribution in schools

The Department of Health (DOH) will push through with its plan to distribute condoms in schools despite criticisms from different groups, including the Catholic Church.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial assured the program’s critics that in implementing the program, the DOH would take it one step at a time.

“We are taking this one step at a time because we really have to win the cooperation of the teachers and school health professionals. We cannot do this alone in the DOH. There has to be cooperation,” Ubial said in an interview on Monday.

Haryana becomes first Indian state to launch injectable contraceptive: Important facts about injectable contraceptives

With an aim to bring down the maternal and infant mortality rate in the state, the Haryana Government launched ‘Project Salamati’ on March 28, 2016.

The project was launched by Haryana’s Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar. With this, Haryana also became the first state in the country to implement the use of injectable contraceptives as a family planning measure. By using these injectable contraceptives, the project aims at encouraging people towards maintaining a healthy gap between the birth of children.

‘Women in slums largely unaware of post-natal care’

The Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programme was launched almost two decades ago to reduce the maternal mortality ratio, the infant mortality rate and total fertility rate. However, women in slums remain largely unaware of their own reproductive health as well as the related healthcare services. While the awareness level among such women about the ante-natal care was good, not many were aware about post-natal care, found a study on the awareness and utilisation of RCH among mothers in a slum in Mumbai.

Of the 250 women surveyed from Shivaji Nagar in M-East ward, only 19.2 per cent women were aware of or had availed of post-natal care – healthcare for women and their babies received for six-eight weeks after birth. As part of post-natal care women are offered advice on breastfeeding and are explained the common and serious health problems in women and their babies after birth.

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