UNFPA in the News
The excerpts below are from media reports. UNFPA cannot vouch for the accuracy of independent media reports displayed for reference purposes only. The inclusion of any story does not imply endorsement by UNFPA.


GHANA: GNA reported on 8 October that the number of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth has decreased by 34 per cent from an estimated 546,000 in 1990 to 358,000 in 2008, according to a new report titled "Trends in Maternal Mortality", released by the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and the World Bank. The new estimates show that it is possible to prevent many more women from dying. The report asked countries to invest in their health systems and in the quality of care. "Every birth should be safe and every pregnancy wanted," said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the Executive Director of UNFPA. "The lack of maternal health care violates women's right to life, health, equality and non-discrimination. The MDGs can be achieved," she said and added "but we urgently need to address the shortage of health workers and step up funding for reproductive health services." Read: GNA

IRAN: IRNA reported on 4 October that the maternal mortality ratio in Iran has decreased from 150 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 30 in 2008, according to a new global report. The report, “Trends in Maternal Mortality”, released recently by UNFPA along with WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank said that Iran is among the countries that are on track in terms of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by 80 per cent between 1990 and 2008 with an annual average decrease of 8.9 per cent. Still, every year approximately 420 women in Iran lose their lives due to pregnancy related causes, most of which are preventable, according to the report. Read: IRNA

UGANDA: New Vision reported on 10 October on Uganda’s progress toward achieving the MDGs, noting that a report by WHO, UNFPA and the World Bank says Uganda's maternal mortality ratio has gone down. The report notes that Uganda is moving at a slow pace as far as implementing MDGs 4 and 5 (reducing child and maternal mortality) is concerned. But the country is on track regarding combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases (MDG 6). According to a 2009 USAID report, the decline in maternal mortality globally is due to improved health systems, increased female education, supervised deliveries, improved antenatal services and increased use of contraception. Read: New Vision


GHANA: Ghanaian Recognized With Midwifery Award

GNA reported on 5 October that Hajia Marie Issaka, Midwife of the Bongo Health Centre and a member of the Federation of Muslim women in Ghana, has been named Midwife Champion of the year. Her award followed her nomination by UNFPA as the best Midwife. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Curious Minds Holds Colloquium On HIV/AIDS

GNA reported on 30 September that Curious Minds, a local youth development organization, has held its Quarterly Youth Colloquium, focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention in aid of the country's pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UNFPA, which was also represented at the colloquium, called on young people to be sensible and desist from acts that could make them contract the disease. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Forum Held on Women and Parliamentary Representation

GNA reported on 29 September that Cate A. Bob-Milliar, Upper West Regional Director of Department of Women, has suggested a constitutional amendment to make it mandatory for women who died while in office as members of Parliament, or Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief executives to be replaced by women. She said the review should also consider a woman representative from each of the regions as an automatic member of parliament so that 10 seats could be secured for women as late President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did for women. The International Institute for Democratic and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and UNFPA sponsored the forum. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Fistula Survivors Undergo Skills Training

GNA reported on 24 September that under the third phase of the campaign to reduce the occurrence of obstetric fistula among women, UNFPA has supported 19 repaired fistula survivors in the Northern Region in acquiring skills in income-generating activities. Hajia Salamatu Futa, of the UNFPA field office in Tamale, who addressed the passing out ceremony of the participants of the skills training in Tamale on Thursday, said they had learnt new skills in batik, tie and dye, soap and pomade making, shea butter processing and bread making, as part of their rehabilitation and re-integration into society. She said the 19 were among a total of 317 women, who had been repaired of obstetric fistula in Northern Ghana, under the programme, "Strengthening obstetric fistula prevention activities and access to treatment in Ghana.” Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: UNFPA Supports Female Flood Victims

GNA reported on 22 September that UNFPA presented 1,495 hygiene kits valued at $60,000 to the female victims of the June 20 floods in the Central Region through the National Disaster Management Organization. The kits are comprised of soap, toothpaste, sanitary pads, body cream, bathing and laundry soap, towels and bags to store the items. "In the face of disasters, hygiene kits can mean a world of difference between sickness and health for displaced families,” Bawa Amadu, Assistant Representative of the UNFPA said when he presented the kits to NADMO. "This would help to restore the sense of dignity of nursing mothers and the women and girls in the reproductive age who lost their belongings, in the recent floods in the Central Region." Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Cape Coast Executive Calls for Women’s Participation

The Mail reported on 15 September that the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. Anthony Egyir Aikins, has encouraged women to show interest in the forthcoming district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies' elections to help the National Democratic Congress administration hit its 40 per cent target for women’s participation. Speaking at the opening of a three-day workshop for 50 female aspiring assembly members at Cape Coast, Mr. Aikins said the low number of women in the assemblies militates against the achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3, which ensures women empowerment in the decision-making process. The programme is being organized by the Women's Department and sponsored by UNFPA and International Idea. Read: The Mail

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Integrate Population Variables Into Development Planning, Assemblies Told

GNA reported on 15 September that Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the region to integrate population variables into their development planning processes. Mr. Mabengba was addressing a one-day regional advocacy seminar on the 2010 Population and Housing Census organized by the National Population Council in collaboration with the Ghana Statistical Service in Tamale. It was sponsored by the Government of Ghana and UNFPA. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Media Tasked To Publicize 2010 Census

GNA reported on 24 August that the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) called on the media to help educate the public on the upcoming 2010 Population and Housing Census, scheduled to take off on 26 September. David Yenukwa Kombat, Head of the Publicity and Education Unit of the Census Secretariat of GSS, said the media had been identified as one of the key partners that could assist GSS in educating the public on the significance of the exercise to ensure its success. He was speaking at a workshop on capacity building for members of the Media and Communication Advocacy Network (MCAN), at Sogakope in the Volta Region. MCAN is a media group comprised of personnel from the public and private sector as well as print and electronic media and nurtured by UNFPA to promote issues on population and development. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Develop Strategic Plans To Combat Maternal Mortality

GNA reported on 17 August that participants in the second African Youth and Governance Conference have called on the African Union (AU) to develop strategic plans to combat the emerging pandemic of maternal mortality. They said the AU should treat maternal mortality as a socio-developmental and health issue by investing and monitoring efforts to significantly reduce the high rate of maternal mortality. They should also develop infrastructure to support expectant mothers in child bearing. The call was contained in a communiqué, issued at the end of the conference, which was jointly organized by Youth Bridge Foundation and the National Youth Council of Ghana and CDD-Ghana. It was supported by the UNFPA, Newmont Ghana and Voltic Ghana Limited.  Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off


BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Multiple media outlets reported on 13 August on events marking International Youth Day in Bosnia and around the world. "We remind the institution of power of getting intensified a meaningful dialogue with the young in BiH, in order to have mutual understanding upgraded in terms of joint dealing with challenges we are facing", said the chief of UNFPA in Bosnia Herzegovina Faris Hadrovic. Read in Bosnian: Sarajevo-x, Sredisnja Bosna, Source, Bljesak, USK Portal, Bizon

CAMEROON: Cameroon Tribune and Mutations reported on 11 and 12 August on events marking International Youth Day. A forum took place on 10 August in the United Nations Information Centre in Yaounde to commemorate the Day with the participation of members from the different branches of the UN system in Cameroon, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, representatives of youth associations and members of society. The forum was chaired by Alain Sibenaler, UN Resident Coordinator who is also UNFPA Representative in Cameroon. Mr. Sibenaler seized this opportunity to read the UN Secretary General's message for International Youth Day. In addition, Mr. Sibenaler and the Minister of Youth Affairs took part in a press conference on 11 August to discuss the Day and the launch of the International Youth Year. Read: Cameroon Tribune and in French: Cameroon Tribune

CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Top TV, Radio-Congo, DRTV, Tele-Congo and Radio-Congo reported on 12 August on events marking International Youth Day. UNFPA Representative David Lawson delivered messages by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid and UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. Top TV and Radio-Congo also reported that UNFPA sponsored a celebration of International Youth Day, which was led by Youth Minister, Zacharie Kimpouni, along with UNFPA Representative, Mr. Lawson, and National Youth Network President, Franck Moyobat, in the presence of hundreds of youth leaders. Mr. Kimpouni underlined efforts by the Government for the Youth Charter to be ratified and the upcoming Youth National Conference to designate the Youth National Council. Mr. Lawson reminded youth of their civic and reproductive health rights and responsibilities, including on HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy, saying, "You are essential and constructive actors of the unfolding societal change in progress in the country and part of the national development process.”

GHANA: Accra Daily Mail reported on 12 August and GNA reported on 10 August on International Youth Day. In addition to  the international celebration of the Day, it was marked in Ghana with the launch of the National Youth Policy at Cape Coast on 12 August. "This would nail home government's support to youth initiatives in Ghana and Africa," said Nii Richard Nortey-Dua, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports said in Accra. He also announced this at the second African Youth and Governance Conference. The four-day conference ,under the theme "Committing to the Youth Agenda: The Call for Action," was attended by about 200 participants drawn from the West African Sub-region: Kenya, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Western Sahara. It was organized by Youth Bridge Foundation, a youth development-oriented NGO with support from UNFPA and management of Newmont Ghana. Read: Accra Mail and GNA

GUINEA-CONAKRY: Radio Kankan and Espace FM reported on 13 August on Thoraya Ahmed Obaid's message regarding International Youth Day and other events on the Day. Espace FM organized a round table on 13 August, with the participation of Dr. Aissatou Conde, in charge of the Youth Programme in UNFPA-Guinea, Obaidou Sow, Coordinator of the UNFPA Youth Reproductive Health Project in the National Ministry of Youth and Sport and Djankna Najbè, representing the national NGO “Amis du future.” They reported that the population in Guinea is characterized by its youth, with 21.8 per cent of young people (between 15 and 24 years old), and emphasized the challenges in the new incoming government to work together with UNFPA to reinforce the quality of education, create new jobs for young people and continue to look for new ways to sensitize on HIV. Read: Radio Kankan

INDIA: New Kerala reported on 13 August that the International Year of Youth kicked off with calls from United Nations officials to harness the talents and energy of the world's young people to promote better understanding and dialogue among different generations, cultures and religions. The article noted that the launch of the International Youth Year will be marked with speeches, musical performances, video screenings and poetry recitals at UN Headquarters. Sha Zukang, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, will discuss the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, while UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid delivered a joint statement of the heads of UN entities demonstrating the support of the UN system for issues related to youth development. Read: New Kerala

IRAN: IRNA reported on 11 August that the country’s youth population is approximately 17 million. Speaking on the occasion of International Youth Day, UNFPA Representative Mehmet Hulki Uz said that Iran is blessed with the demographic bonus of a dynamic young population. “Today, as we launch the International Year of Youth, I am calling on decision makers to listen to the needs of young people and respond to them.” He urged governments to enter a meaningful dialogue with youth to develop a mutual understanding on how to jointly address development challenges. Read: IRNA

LEBANON: The Daily Star and Terra Net reported on 12 August on the Y-PEER Lebanon activities marking International Youth Day and the launch of the International Year of Youth. The UNFPA-supported Y-PEER network conducted two events to mark this occasion. The first consisted of participating in two one-hour live radio shows twice that week. Using their fun and youthful approach, the Y-PEERS tackled youth sexual-health taboos, passing on HIV/AIDS prevention information and dispelling all-too-prevalent myths on MIX FM’s popular The Comedy Revolution show. The radio show also included a phone competition on HIV/AIDS, with prizes to encourage the audience to participate. In addition, on 12 August, 15 Y-PEER members invaded Puncho beach in northern Lebanon with posters and awareness activities to publicize and promote the ABC Prevention Strategy. Read: The Daily Star and Terra Net.

LIBERIA: The Daily Observer reported on 13 August that Liberia joined the rest of the world to observe International Youth Day on 12 August and that UNFPA Liberia Representative Esperance Fundira made a special statement at the ceremony calling for special attention for Liberian youth. Read: Daily Observer

MOZAMBIQUE: Radio Mocambique reported on 14 August that UNFPA supported a discussion on youth and development to celebrate International Youth Day, in Maputo. The session was attended by UNFPA Representative, Patricia Guzman, the Governor of Maputo, Lucilia Hama, and the National AIDS Council Deputy Executive Secretary, Diogo Milagre.

NEPAL: The Kathmandu Post reported on 11 August that the Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON), YUWA and Youth Initiative organized a two-day jatra, a street festival, in celebration of this year’s International Youth Day. The event included a photo exhibition, titled “Youth Expressions,” where photographs taken by young people were presented.  Moreover, a panel discussion on topics like same sex marriage and brain drain in Nepal engaged participants in lively interaction, with interesting views coming from young students. The event was supported by UNFPA, Save the Children, Maiti Nepal and CWIN. Read: The Kathmandu Post

PAKISTAN: Daily Times and The Express Tribune reported on 12 August that Y-Peer Pakistan, in collaboration with UNFPA and youth organization Chanan Development Association (CDA), launched a national campaign titled “Be the Change” to celebrate International Youth Day in Pakistan. More than 100 participants attended the event, including youth, media and representatives of civil society. Event organizers also arranged 100 different youth activities for this month, such as capacity-building workshops, advocacy events, festivals, seminars, rallies and sports competitions. Read: Daily Times and The Express Tribune

SUDAN: Multiple media outlets reported and featured roundtable discussions on 10-12 August to mark International Youth Day and the launch of the International Youth Year. Reports remarked on a public march accompanied by the police band. It continued with entertainment by popular musicians and concluded with public address by key Government officials including the Minister of Youth, Sports and Recreation and Development partners’ representatives, including the UN Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, who spoke on behalf of the UN. In addition, discussions addressed topics including the role of youth in combating HIV/AIDS, government efforts to stop early marriages and keep girls in schools to overcome some of the reproductive challenges facing young people in Southern Sudan, the role of Y-Peer educators in bringing youth people together to fight HIV/AIDS and get reproductive health services, and UNFPA’s support for the government of Southern Sudan to improve young people's access to sexual reproductive health services.

SUDAN: Multiple media outlets reported on August 11, 2010 that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Majid Haj Siwar, has adopted the declaration of the youth forum that was part of celebrating the International Youth Day 2010. In partnership with UNFPA, the Ministry celebrated the IYD under the global theme of Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. The celebration included beside the morning youth forum, evening exhibits, cultural dance and entertainment segment by UNPA Honorary Ambassador singer and composer Abdel Kareem Elkabli. Mr. Minister expressed commitment to implementing the UNFPA-supported Youth Development Strategy and to implementing the IYD, 2010 declaration. UNFPA Representative to Sudan, Mr. Hans de Graaff, told participants that youth forums and similar events is where young people can influence decision-making in order to have in place policies that respond to the needs of the youth.

TUNISIA: La Presse de Tunisie and Agence Tunis Afrique Presse reported on 13 August on the opening of the International Year of Youth in New York. The event included the presentation of several performances (songs and dances) by young people who elaborated slogans calling for the consecration of the highest values. No less than 600 youth from around the world took part in the opening ceremony of the International Youth Year, in the presence of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN, and Ms. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Assistant Secretary General of the UN and Executive Director of UNFPA, as well as representatives from international and regional organizations, member states of the UN and youth organizations. In addition, UN officials hailed Tunisia’s youth policy during the talks that Minister of Youth, Sports and Physical Education Samir Laabidi held in New York with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and the Executive Director of UNFPA. Read: Tunisia Online News

UGANDA: The New Vision published an op-ed by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid on 11 August to mark International Youth Day. She wrote, “Today, as we launch the International Year of Youth, on the eve of the World Youth Conference in Mexico, I am calling on decision makers to listen to the needs of the young people and respond to them. I call on governments to enter meaningful dialogue with young people and jointly address the development challenges facing us.” Read: The New Vision

UZBEKISTAN: UzReport reported on 13 August that International Youth Day has been celebrated in Uzbekistan for the second year in a row. Events dedicated to the Day and organized jointly by Youth Initiatives Centre  "Kelajak Ovozi" under Fund Forum, UNIC and UNFPA were held in the Youth Creativity Palace's Concert Hall in Tashkent. This year's commemoration of International Youth Day also marks the launch of the International Year of Youth under the theme "Dialogue and Mutual Understanding." The International Youth Day celebration is one of many activities held within the framework of cooperation between YIC "Kelajak Ovozi" and UNFPA. The main goal of collaboration between the two organizations is to promote healthy lifestyles among the young people in Uzbekistan. UNFPA and YIC "Kelajak Ovozi" share similar visions on strengthening the rights of young people and enhancing their potential to increase their role in society.

VIET NAM: Multiple media outlets reported on 10-14 August on events marking International Youth Day, including a statement by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid celebrating the Day. The National Committee of Vietnamese Youth in collaboration with the Central Committee of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and UNFPA jointly organized a workshop on youth policies on the eve of the International Day of Youth. Attending the event, which launched the International Year of Youth in Viet Nam, were Eamonn Murphy, acting UN Resident Coordinator, and Vietnamese Government officials. At the conference, participants agreed on the need to have a mechanism to promote young people's participation in policy development and implementation and proposed to develop guidelines on policy development for youth. “While many people say that youth are the future, it is time to embrace their leadership today. Young people are natural leaders,” stated Ms. Obaid while highlighting that while there is promise, there is also peril. “The sad truth is that too many young people are growing up with few opportunities, trying to keep up hope for the future.”  Read in Vietnamese: Nguoi Dai Bieu Nhan Dan, Giao Duc va Thoi Dai, Thanh Nien (10 August), Thanh Nien (11 August), Tien Phong and VOH, VN Media, Gia dinh va Xa hoi, Hoa Nhip Tim

YEMEN: Saba reported on 15 August that Youth Welfare Centre  at Aden University organized an open day activity, within the framework of World Youth Day and supported by UNFPA. The activity was attended by many youth from different universities and included an awareness lecture on reproductive health and family planning issues. The director of the centre at Aden University Hossam Salam noted that the centre  was established to raise awareness among young people of both sexes in health issues. Read: Saba



GHANA: Public Agenda reported on 2 August that the National Population Council and its partners launched the 2010 World Population Day Celebration based on the global theme "Everyone Counts," with a focus on the 2010 round of census and data analysis for development. Marian Kpakpah, Acting Executive Director of the National Population Council said that World Population Day is marked every year across the globe to raise awareness about global population issues and its relation to development. She said they considered the theme appropriate as the country prepares to undertake a major national exercise, the 2010 Population and Housing Census, adding that it will inform Ghanaians on why they must be counted. She mentioned that the National Population Council and the Ghana Statistical Service, two key agencies in the population sector, have come together with UNFPA to commemorate this year's World Population Day and make it a success. Read: Public Agenda

ROMANIA: Radio Romania Cultural featured an interview on 3 August with François Farah, UNFPA Representative for Romania, together with Vasile Ghetau, Director of the Demographic Institute of the Romanian Academy, on the theme of World Population Day.

TANZANIA: Africa Business Week reported on 3 August that the Tanzanian government will spend over $66.67 million to conduct the forthcoming national population census scheduled for August 2011. It will be the fifth population census since independence in 1961, which was followed by other census in 1967, 1988 and 2002. "Censuses are huge and serious undertakings and therefore need highest political support, financial commitment and human resources for timely implementation,'' said UNFPA Representative Julitta Onabanjo while addressing the World Population Day celebrations on the Pemba island of Zanzibar recently.


GHANA: Census Dates Set

GNA reported on 3 August that Government has set 26 September for the beginning of the 2010 National Population and Housing Census. The two-week exercise, which ends on 9 October is to cover everyone regardless of nationality, place of birth, religion or creed as long as he or she is within the borders of the country at the stroke of midnight on 26 September. UNFPA was named as one of the development partners lending support to the census effort. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Ghana to Spend $50 Million On Census

Xinhua (China) reported on 29 July and GNA reported on 28 July that the national population and housing census scheduled to begin this year in Ghana is estimated to cost about $50 million, Grace Bediako, government statistician, said recently. The government had released funds for 60 per cent of the cost while development partners, including UNFPA had pledged to support the programme . Read: Xinhua and GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Inadequate Funding Worsens Infant, Maternal Mortality in Ghana

Xinhua (China) reported on 22 July that the lack of funding in the health sector and the inadequate basic health facilities have over the last decade posed a great threat to the already unacceptably high maternal mortality rate estimated at 451 deaths per 100,000 live births in Ghana. UNFPA Midwifery Advisor Fredrica Enyonam Hanson had indicated that maternal mortality was a recurring challenge affecting the pace of development in Ghana. Records of UNFPA had also contended that in spite of all efforts, low coverage of skilled attendance at birth in Ghana remains a major contributor. The inadequacies in skilled attendance at birth are further evidenced by the high neo-natal mortality of 45 deaths per 1,000 live births contributing almost 60 per cent of infant deaths in Ghana. Citing maternal mortality as the greatest health inequity in the world, UNFPA said the tragedies of maternal mortality were indicative of the value placed on women and children's lives and also a reflection of the level of development in the country. Read: Xinhua

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Government Asked to Ensure Early Passage of Youth Bill

GNA reported on 13 July that a Youth Advocacy Assembly held by selected youths in the Agona West Municipality has appealed to the government to, as matter of urgency, pass the Youth Policy Bill into law. The Assembly said the immediate passage of bill would go a long way to protect the youth against a number of challenges confronting their growth and well-being. This was contained in a speech by Master George Dawoud, who acted as the Municipal Chief Executive for the area at the first ever Youth Advocacy Assembly at Agona Swedru. The programme, which was organized by the National Youth Council in collaboration with UNFPA was attended by a cross-section of people including, heads of department, assembly members, parents, religious leaders and school children. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off


GLOBAL: UN News Centre reported on 11 July that with dozens of countries carrying out United Nations-supported national censuses this year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked this year's World Population Day by stressing the importance of gathering information to bolster good governance, transparency and accountability. “Population data helps leaders and policy-makers to make informed decisions about policies and programmes to reduce poverty and hunger, and advance education, health and gender equality,” Mr. Ban said in his message for the day. Read: UN News Centre

Multiple media outlets published a statement by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid on 10 July commemorating World Population Day on 11 July. Ms. Ahmed noted that in the past 30 years, UNFPA has helped develop the capacities of countries in collecting and analyzing data. Currently, a central aspect of UNFPA support is directed at the implementation of the 2010 round of censuses of population and housing, which are to be conducted between 2005-2014. Read: Inter Press News (Georgia), in Spanish: La Prensa (Nicaragua) and La Nacion (Paraguay) and in Portuguese: Agencia de Noticias da AIDS (Brazil)

IPS reported on 8 July that as the international community readies to commemorate World Population Day, the United Nations is reviewing the state of the world's women - and how they stack up against the risks of maternal mortality and the lack of universal access to reproductive health. A U.N. report on the status of the eight MDGs, including drastic reductions in hunger and poverty, says there has been slow progress in expanding the use of contraceptives by women primarily for two reasons: poverty and lack of education. “The use of contraception is lowest among the poorest women, and those with no education," it says.  The study points out that "the unmet need for family planning remains moderate to high in most regions, particularly sub-Saharan Africa".  At least one in four women aged 15 to 49, who are married or in a relationship, have expressed the desire to use contraceptives but do not have access to them. Still, progress has been recorded by many countries on maternal mortality. "We welcome the MDG reports indication of progress, with some nations significantly reducing maternal death ratios," said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA. Read: IPS

ALGERIA: El Watan, La Tribune and El Moudjahid reported on events marking World Population Day in Algeria. Lindsay Edouard, UNFPA Representative in Algeria, spoke about the Fund's work, and the significance of the theme “Everyone Counts” in relation to UNFPA’s work, which seeks to reduce poverty and promote rights and health for all. Read in French: El Moudjahid and El Watan

AZERBAIJAN: Today.Az reported on 6 July and AzerTAJ reported on 5 July on commemorations of World Population Day in Azerbaijan, which included a roundtable on ensuring security of population co-organized by the Ombudsman Office of Azerbaijan and UNFPA. Read: Today.Az and AzerTAJ

BOLIVIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 11 July on commemorations of World Population Day, including the release of a new report, “Bolivia: Population, Land and Environment,” prepared by the Ministry of Planning and UNFPA. The report shows the importance of population dynamics, and its relationship to development at a time when, in Bolivia, young people make up the majority of the population. UNFPA Representative Jaime Nadal pointed out that the high proportion young people represents an opportunity, but policy makers must work to support young people to fulfill their potential. Read in Spanish: El Deber, Jornada, La Prensa, Prensa Latina

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Multiple media outlets reported and published UNFPA statements on 11 and 12 July marking World Population Day and preparations for the upcoming census. Read in  Bosnian: Bitno, Hayat, 24Sata and Liljan

BRAZIL: Ascom reported on 11 July that UNFPA celebrated World Population Day by inviting all Brazilians to participate in the 2010 Census, to be conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Statistics (IBGE) beginning 1 August. According to Harold Robinson, UNFPA Representative in Brazil, participation in the census is key for ensuring a successful data collection that will provide inputs for good public policies formulation and monitoring. Read in Portuguese: Ascom

BURKINA FASO: Le Pays and Sidwaya reported on 8 and 12 July on the commemoration of World Population Day. The National council of the Population (CONAPO) in partnership with UNFPA/Burkina, organized a public conference on the topic: “The importance of the data for development.” The conference underscored the theme for the day, addressing the ways in which data can make a positive impact on policies and programmes that improve peoples’ lives. Read in French: Le Pays and Sidwaya

CAMBODIA: Multiple television and radio outlets and  the newspaper, Rasmei Kampuchea reported on 11 July on the Prime Minister’s message marking World Population Day. In the message, the Prime Minister called on government ministries to build strong partnerships with UNFPA and other development partners to address women’s health issues, particularly maternal health.

CHINA: Xinhua reported on 10 and 11 July and Global Times reported on 9 July on observations of World Population Day in China and around the world. China announced that it would recruit 6.5 million census workers as the international community set out to observe a day devoted to raising awareness of population issues and the vital nature of census taking to global development and sound policy making. Discussing the theme, "Everyone Counts," UNFPA's Christian Delsol said,  "This timely theme builds on the ongoing 2010 round of censuses." He continued, "Analysis of census data can provide the links between population phenomena and human rights, gender equality, reproductive health and maternal mortality." Bernard Coquelin, Representative of UNFPA in China, emphasized the importance of reliable data for development. Referring to the theme, he said that “it implies that not only is it essential to count the number of people who live in communities, cities and countries, but also that each person should be respected and valued by ensuring that their rights are protected and that they have equitable access to basic social services.” Read: Xinhua (11 July) and Xinhua (10 July) Global Times

CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Congo-site and Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 9 July on a workshop jointly organized by the Economy and Planning Ministry and UNFPA to validate the results and analysis of the census data, which were expected to be released as part of the commemoration of World Population Day.  The workshop gathered demographers, statisticians and technical experts from government agencies and UN agencies and was facilitated by UNFPA. In his opening address, UNFPA Representative David Lawson congratulated the government on leading the census to completion, allowing for a full review of the progress toward the MDGs. He added, "The government contribution to the costs of the census has reached over 90 per cent, which is highly noteworthy and admirable in Africa, with the financial and technical support of UNFPA." Read in French: Congo-Site and Les Depeches de Brazzaville

EL SALVADOR: ElSalvador.com reported on 11 July on World Population Day, and the theme, “Everyone Counts,” and UNFPA’s emphasis on the significance of accurate census data for informing good government policies.

FIJI: Fiji Times and FijiVillage.com reported on 11 and 12 July on World Population Day celebrations, which highlighted the role that censuses and population data play in development and humanitarian response and recovery. "With quality data we can better track and make greater progress to achieve the MDGs and promote and protect the dignity and human rights of all people," UNFPA said. Fiji has the second largest concentration of elderly people in the Pacific according to UNFPA Pacific Representative Dirk Jena, who was speaking at the World Population Day celebrations. Read: Fiji Times and FijiVillage.com

GERMANY: ARD Tagesthemen reported on 11 July on World Population Day. The story featured comments by Anne Wittenberg, UNFPA External Relations Officer in Geneva. She said: "Being counted is being visible and important for claiming rights. In many parts of the world people are not counted/registered. But being registered with a birth-certificate for example tells my government that I will need a place in school later on for example." The piece is about the importance of being registered and counted in developing countries.

INDIA: Orissa Diary, the Central Chronicle and MedIndia reported on 10 and 11 July on events marking World Population Day in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh states and around the world. The Family Planning Association (FPA) in collaboration with UNFPA organized public awareness campaign about population education in trains and railway stations as well as bus stations in various cities in Madhya Pradesh. A team of youth volunteers distributed pamphlets and performed street plays for the benefit of passengers. The programme covered almost all the major trains passing through the Bhopal stations. Orissa Diary noted that “On the occasion of World Population Day-10, Government of Orissa chose to initiate measures to 'Repositioning Family Planning Programmes' in the state with focus on taking forward the Programmtic Interventions in a more comprehensive way.Sensing the need to strengthen Family Planning Programmes in Orissa, "State Family Welfare Cell' with Support from UNFPA (Global Developmental Partner for Family Planning Programme) has been established “ and reported that UNFPA State Head Hemant Dwivedi was among the officials who attended the event. Read: Orissa Diary and MedIndia

JORDAN: The Jordan Times reported on 9 July that data are considered the most powerful input than can ensure sustainable development, provided it is based on careful and in-depth analysis, said HRH Princess Basma. The Princess, who is UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, made the remarks during a ceremony marking World Population Day, held this year under the theme, “Data for Development: Everyone Counts.” “This year’s theme is extremely important: we need to bear in mind that research needs to be people-oriented and take into consideration people’s needs, challenges and aspiration to ensure that they are not figures in the abstract,” the Princess highlighted. Read: The Jordan Times

KENYA: The Daily Nation reported on 11 July on World Population Day. As it prepared to launch a new effort to ensure completion of Kenya’s 2010 census, UNFPA marked World Population Day with a message by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid called for urgency in completing censuses. “Censuses are central to UNFPA’s mandate and mission to support countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty,” she said. Read: The Daily Nation

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Xinhua (China) reported on 10 July that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will strengthen its cooperation with UNFPA, an official said. Yang Song Il, a section chief of the Population Center, spoke on the occasion of the World Population Day, which falls on July 11, the official news agency KCNA reported. The 2007-2010 fourth cooperation programme between the UNFPA and the DPRK would be finished and the 2011-2013 fifth cooperation plan will be worked out this year. Mr. Yang said,"We will continue surveys in different fields to make contribution to the development of national economy and public health and further strengthen the cooperation with international organizations, including the UNFPA."

MALAWI: The Nation reported on 11 July that in a statement marking World Population Day, UNFPA Communications Officer Pilrani Semu-Banda said that if people and their characteristics are not counted, governments cannot plan. Malawi recently conducted a census, which reported that the country’s population has reached 13 million. UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said in her statement marking the day that good data are critical for evidence-based policies and programmes for improving people’s lives. Read: The Nation

MOLDOVA: All Moldova reported on 11 July that in conjunction with  a message from UNFPA marking  World Population Day, UNFPA declared,  “Moldova should take strong action in order to successfully conduct the census until 2014." The UNFPA Assistant Representative in Moldova, Boris Gilca, told a news conference  that according to UN and EUROSTAT’s recommendations, the period between national censuses should not exceed 10 years. Since Moldova conducted its last census in October 2004, the next census in Moldova should be held no later than 2014, which is also the limit year in the current round of global censuses (2005-2014). Read: All Moldova

MOZAMBIQUE: Autarca, Radio Mozambique and Domingo reported on 9-11 July on commemorations of World Population Day in Mozambique.  To mark the occasion, Patricia Guzman, UNFPA Representative in Mozambique, visited the province of Inhambane to promote World Population Day. During her visit, Ms. Guzman met with community members and partners in the city of Inhambane and in the districts of Maxixe and Morrumbone as well as peer activists from the UNFPA-supported organization Geração Biz and midwives. She said that the theme aims at raising awareness about the importance of using reliable data to plan development interventions.

MYANMAR: People’s Daily (China) reported on 11 July that Myanmar is striving for the realization of the MDGs, calling on its people to work together with the government. With the theme "Everyone Counts," Myanmar observed the World Population Day, reflecting its active participation in realizing the UN aims and objectives as a member of the global family.  Read: Xinhua

NEPAL: NTT reported on 11 July that various programmes such as rallies, discussions and special health service camps were organized to mark the World Population Day, with its stated slogan “Everyone Counts.” Reliable information is essential for governments to formulate policies that would meet people’s needs and improve their lives, according to Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA. “’Everyone counts,’ the theme of this year’s Day, highlights the compelling stories that numbers tell us about people,” said Ms. Obaid. “On this World Population Day,” she added, UNFPA asserts the right of everyone to be counted, especially women, girls, the poor and marginalized.” Read: NTT

NIGERIA: The Daily Trust and ThisDay reported on 8 July on celebrations of World Population Day in Nigeria. ThisDay noted that the National Population Commission and UNFPA said they are about to commence activities leading to the implementation of the 2010 round of population and housing censuses in the country. Read: ThisDay

PAKISTAN: The News International reported on 7 and 10 July that World Population Day would be commemorated on 11 July with the theme "Everyone Counts" with a special focus on women and children. The theme of the day has been decided considering the fact that counting everyone is an integral part of ensuring everyone's equal rights. This year, World Population Day highlights the importance of data for development. The focus is on the 2010 round the population and housing census, data analysis for development and UNFPA's lead role in population and development. Read: The News International (10 July) and The News International (7 July)

PANAMA: La Prensa reported on 11 July on World Population Day commemorations in Panama and around the world, including a statement by UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid to mark the day. Read in Spanish: La Prensa

PARAGUAY: Multiple media outlets reported 9-11 July on the commemoration of World Population Day around the world and in Paraguay, as well as the priorities for the upcoming census. In addition to reporting on UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid’s statement marking the day, the articles addressed issues related to the upcoming census in Paraguay. Among the issues discussed was the recognition that the last population count had what were described as serious deficiencies in measuring the actual number of people with disabilities. The next one, scheduled for 2012 offers an opportunity to improve measurement. According to Aldo Natalizia of UNFPA, there is no more relevant source of information than the census, because it guides decisions around a country’s policy-making and implementation. Read in Spanish: La Nacion, ABC, IP Paraguay, PPN, Ultima Hora

PHILIPPINES: The Manila Bulletin reported on 11 July and published an editorial on 10 July on World Population Day celebrations. The Bulletin wrote, “offices of UNFPA and the organizations they work with mark the day with celebrations of their programmes, poster and essay contests, sports events, concerts, and other activities that highlight population issues and efforts to resolve them.” Read: The Manila Bulletin (11 July) and The Manila Bulletin (10 July)

SUDAN: Sudan Vision Daily reported and Al Safa reported on 11 July on World Population Day. This year, some 60 countries are collecting data and counting people as part of the 2010 census process. A census is the only statistical operation that covers the whole population and all areas of a country. UNFPA and other partners are supporting this massive effort in many parts of the world. The theme of this year’s World Population Day is “Everyone Counts.” To be counted is to become visible. This is especially important for women and young people. Read: Sudan Vision Daily

SWAZILAND: The Times of Swaziland reported on 7 July that this year’s World Population Day was to be commemorated 11 July. Government Press Secretary Macanjana Motsa said Swaziland routinely joins the global community in commemorating World Population Day on July 11 each year.  The celebration is coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development through the National Population Unit with the support of UNFPA. This is also done in collaboration with regional authorities and key stakeholders, including the Central Statistics Office who are co-opted on the basis of the theme for that particular year. "The theme that has been selected by the UNFPA headquarters for this year is ‘Everyone Counts’ with a focus on the 2010 round of the population census," said Ms. Motsa. Read: The Times of Swaziland

TAJIKISTAN: Asia Plus and Khovar reported on 7-10 July on commemorations of World Population Day in Tajikistan. UNFPA and State Statistical Agency representatives made presentations related to the UNFPA CO mandate in Tajikistan and forthcoming census to be conducted in Tajikistan from 21-30 September, 2010. According to  UNFPA Representative Michael Jones, the theme for WPD 2010 is “Everyone Counts” because of the focus on the 2010 round of census and UNFPA’s leading role in population and development.

TURKEY: Today’s Zaman reported on 11 July on  the commemoration of World Population Day. The article noted, “This day was established by the UN Population Fund in order to raise awareness of how international family planning can help slow population growth and save the lives of women and children. Every year World Population Day has its own specific theme, and this year’s theme is 'Everyone Counts,' highlighting the importance of reliable demographic data in development.” Read: Today’s Zaman

UGANDA: The New Vision published an op-ed on 10 July by UNFPA Representative Janet Jackson and Population Secretariat acting Director Charles Ziarema to mark World Population Day. They wrote, “In Uganda, the UNFPA and the Population Secretariat have been in partnership since 1988, working together with the Government and civil society so that everyone born into the world has a dignified place in the world and advancing the right of individuals to determine freely and responsibly the number and timing of their children. For this to happen, the needs of the population have to be planned and managed from the household and national levels, using robust data.” Read: The New Vision

The Monitor reported on 9 July that population experts have called for more investment in family planning services which they say will cut unwanted pregnancies and reduce maternal deaths. Speaking in Nebbi District ahead of World Population Day,  UNFPA Representative Janet Jackson said investing in family planning services can help mothers delay or space their births. "We should not be looking too much into the numbers - whether they are too many or too few people but the people behind these statistics," Ms. Jackson said. Read: The Monitor

UNITED STATES: CNN Radio reported on 11 July on World Population Day, as UNFPA spokesman Ralph Hakkert explained why Americans should be concerned census data collected around the world. Listen: CNN Radio

URUGUAY: El Pais reported on 11 July on World Population Day, and the theme “Everyone Counts.” Alfonso Farnós of UNFPA was one of several demographers interviewed on the day’s theme and its significance for Uruguay. Mr. Farnos said that an accurate census can save lives and improve quality of life for current and future generations.  The article noted that in Uruguay, the demographic situation is characterized by an increase of elderly population, a low fertility rate and high numbers of young people migrating abroad. The next census will be held in 2011. This year, the census will address new issues, such us housing, disability, use of communication and information technology and ethnic origin.  Read in Spanish: El Pais and Brecha

VENEZUELA: Reporte 360 and El Informador reported on 11 July that with the slogan “Everyone Counts,” UNFPA reiterated its commitment to cooperate y in the generation of data on population dynamics for the formulation of policies and programmes  that reduce poverty and ensure that each pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV / AIDS and every girl and woman is treated with dignity respect. Read in Spanish: Reporte 360 and El Informador

VIET NAM: Multiple media outlets reported on 9 and 10 July that a meeting to commemorate the World Population Day 2010 was organized by Ministry of Health, Ha Noi Peoples’ Committee and the United Nations in Viet Nam. At the celebration, UNFPA Deputy Representative Urmila Singh called for concerted efforts from the government, donors, development agencies and civil society organizations to protect the gains achieved so far and continue to push forward on the population issues in the future. ”Our progress to achieve the ICPD Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 must remain a priority. We must join forces to make sure that individual human beings are at the very heart of the development process, to ensure universal access to reproductive health and to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said Ms. Singh. Read in English: Vietnam News Agency VOV News, Viet Nam Plus, Viet Nam News, Women's Views on News and in Vietnamese: Family and Society, VOV News, Health Communication and Education, DT News, Communist Party Online, Peoples' Representative, Peoples' Police, Nan Dan

Multiple media outlets reported on 9 July on an interview with Urmila Singh, UNFPA Deputy Representative, on the occasion of the World Population Day 2010. In the area of reproductive health and family planning, Viet Nam has made substantial progress in expanding reproductive health services, integrating family planning into pre and post-natal care and in HIV prevention, according to the UNFPA Deputy Representative. However, certain population groups, such as young people, migrants and ethnic minorities, have limited access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, including family planning services. In addition, the unusually rapid increase in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) is a major challenge for Viet Nam. Though the government of Viet Nam has clearly regulated that sex determination of a foetus and abortion for sex selection are illegal, efforts need to be dedicated towards changing couples’ traditional preference for male children, as well as towards empowering women’s position in the family and society as a whole. Read in Vietnamese: Family and Society 2, Peoples' Representative

YEMEN: Multiple media outlets reported on 12 July that Sana'a governorate organized a celebration on the occasion of World Population Day under the theme of “Everyone Counts” in collaboration with the National Population Council and UNFPA. UNFPA’s statement on the occasion was delivered by UNFPA Assistant Representative Himyar Abdulmoghni, and addressed the importance of data for planning and making informed decisions. Data is critical to guide plans, policies and programmes to meet people’s needs and improve their lives, the UNFPA statement said. Only by considering the needs of all women and men, girls and boys, can we achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Yemen, UNFPA statement concluded. Read in Arabic: Yemen TV, Alwahdah, Althawra, 14October, Saba’a, and Al Syasiah

ZIMBABWE: The Standard reported on 11 July on the commemoration of World Population Day and support from UNFPA and other international agencies for the upcoming census, which will be conducted by Zimbabwe’s statistics agency, ZimStat.


GHANA: Half of Births Are Not Registered

Peace FM reported on 3 July that, acknowledging the problem of inadequate birth and death registrations in Ghana, Stephen Kwaku Amoah, the Acting Registrar of Births and Deaths pointed out some interventions being taken by his outfit in sensitizing the general public to improve registration coverage. “The Registry has also experimented with a focused registration programme called the Community Population Registrar Programme which has yielded outstanding results. The Registry partnered with the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ghana Health Service, District Assemblies, Plan Ghana and UNFPA to implement the plan in 26 communities across the country. The programme uses volunteers to help register Vital Events. They submit data to the registry staff who then process the data at the district offices,” he explained. Read: Peace FM

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Midwife Recognized With International Award

GNA reported on 18 June that Jhpiego, a global health non-profit affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, has honoured Hajia Mary Isaka, a 53-year-old Ghanaian Midwife from Zorkor, a village in the Upper East Region of Ghana, with an international Midwife Champion of the Year Award. UNFPA was among the organizations contributing nominations for the award. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off


GLOBAL: IRIN reported on 13 June that the new United Nations Joint Action Plan for Women's and Children's Health calls on countries to push the health of women and girls to the front of the queue and create an overarching framework for integrated health systems. A working draft of the plan was presented by Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, at Women Deliver, a global conference in Washington, US, which brought together 3,500 women health professionals and leaders from 150 countries. Read: IRIN

CAMBODIA: Phnom Penh Post reported on 11 June that Women’s Affairs Minister Ing Kantha Phavi has called on world leaders to renew and increase efforts to achieve a global goal to reduce maternal mortality rates, saying the issue should be a focus of the G-8 and G-20 summits later this month. Alice Levisay, Cambodia’s country coordinator for UNFPA, who represented her office at the conference, said in an email to the Post that Cambodia’s maternal mortality rate of 461 per 100,000 live births was the third-highest among countries in the Asia and Pacific region. “Many LDCs [least-developed countries] face the same issues, but Cambodia has particular constraints with infrastructure and human resources given its history,” she said. Read: Phnom Penh Post

CANADA: The Globe and Mail published an editorial on 8 June calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take advantage of the opportunity presented by its planned G8 initiative to become a leader in the effort to improve maternal health around the world. The editorial argued that Mr. Harper should “show real leadership by championing the United Nations Population Fund’s campaign to end fistula – and divert attention away from critics who have spoken out against his controversial decision not to fund abortion programs.” Read: The Globe and Mail

DENMARK: Denmark National Television featured an interview on 7 June with the Crown Princess, a UNFPA patron, on Women Deliver and UNFPA's campaign to eradicate fistula. Watch in Danish: Denmark National Television

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Hoy Digital reported on 8 June on the Women Deliver conference, where Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, underscored the importance of investing in women's and girls’ health, and the economic and social benefits for families, communities and nations when women and girls are healthy. Read in Spanish: Hoy Digital

GHANA: GNA reported on 8 June on two commitments announced at the 2010 Women Deliver conference. Melinda Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute $1.5 billion to efforts to improve maternal and child health over the next five years. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, commended Melinda Gates for the gesture and her commitment to ensure that women and children throughout the world enjoyed the best kind of health. In addition, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon presented the UN Joint Action Plan on Maternal and Child Health, Ms. Obaid said maternal and newborn mortality alone caused a global loss of 15 billion dollars annually and investing in children’s health would create the foundation for a more productive future workforce. She urged world leaders to invest in women’s reproductive health and rights since it was not only the right thing to do but also smart economics. Read: GNA and GNA

GERMANY: Deutsche Welle reported on 9-10 June on the Women Deliver conference and its major themes. In an interview published 10 June, Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, discussed the human rights dimensions of maternal health and interventions to improve maternal health, noting that  "Thoraya Obaid, [the executive director of the UNFPA, says our starting point, our central issue, is human rights of girls and women." Read: Deutsche Welle and in German: Deutsche Welle

GUATEMALA: Cerigua reported on 12 June that health experts, including UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, launched an international call for action during the Women Deliver conference to increase the number of midwives in the world’s poorest countries. Read in Spanish: Cerigua

MONGOLIA: Montsame reported on 9 June that a delegation from Mongolia attended the 2010 Women Deliver conference. Dr. J.Tsolmon, the Vice Minister of Health, one of the delegates from Mongolia, said, “The global Women Deliver conference will be crucial in keeping maternal and reproductive health on the agenda and Mongolia's participation shows that the issue is one of our priorities. With only 5 years to go until 2015 we need to make the right choices for improving maternal and reproductive health.”

MOZAMBIQUE: Weekly Domingo reported on 13 June that global health leaders, meeting at the Women Deliver Conference in Washinghton, DC, called the G-8 and G-20 to increase investment to midwifery services in the developing world. UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, said, “The world needs more midwives now than ever. Countries need to make midwifery a priority in plans and budgets. No woman should die giving life and we need to move from speech lines to budget lines.”

NIGERIA: The Guardian and The Vanguard reported on 8 June  on the 2010 Women Deliver conference. Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, was among the First Ladies and 3,000 representatives from an estimated 140 countries attending the Women Deliver 2010 conference. Read: The Vanguard

NIGERIA: The Daily Champion reported on 7 June on the second Women Deliver conference, held 7-9 June in Washington, DC. The article noted that the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA estimate that ensuring access to modern contraception could prevent up to a third of maternal deaths. Read: Daily Champion

PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Inquirer published a column by Rina Jimenez David on 9 June reporting on the 2010 Women Deliver conference, and noting that UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid was among the global health leaders attending the conference. Read: Philippine Inquirer

UNITED STATES/NEPAL: Oneworld.net reported on 7 June that Samita Pradhan, director of the Women's Reproductive Rights Program, (WRRP), was set to "sound the alarm" on uterine  prolapse at a panel discussion on the opening day of the 2010 Women Deliver Conference. According to a 2007 study by UNFPA, over 600,000 Nepali women - 10% of all women of reproductive age - are affected. Read: Oneworld.net

UNITED STATES: Politics Daily reported on 10 June on the Women Deliver conference. The article noted that, “According to the U.N. Population Fund, 20 million women have unsafe abortions each year. Of that number, 68,000 die annually from complications. Twenty times that number will have life-complicating consequences. Thirteen percent of maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortion. And 90 percent of abortion-related deaths and consequences could be avoided if women had greater access to contraception and education on contraception.” Read: Politics Daily

UNITED STATES: Ms. Magazine (U.S.) published a three-part series on maternal health in its Spring 2010 issue. It noted that “in Afghanistan, which has a large rural population and where the health infrastructure was destroyed by decades of war, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is working with the Ministry of Health to train midwives and other health personnel who live in rural communities to provide essential obstetric services.” Read: Ms. Magazine

UNITED STATES: NPR reported on 8 June on Women Deliver, in a story that  included remarks by Frederica Hanson of UNFPA, who remarked on women's deaths from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, "When these women die, we don't get to know about it. We just bury them silently." Read: NPR

UNITED STATES: Huffington Post published a blog by Rahim Kanani on 6 June on the 2010 Women Deliver conference. Mr. Kanani noted that UNFPA estimates that girls who give birth between the ages of 10 and 14 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20 to 24. Girls 15 to 19 are twice as likely to die. Read: Huffington Post

ZIMBABWE: The Standard reported on 12 June that the Zimbabwe Confederation of Midwives presented a petition for increased investment in midwives. Zimbabwe has a maternal mortality ratio of 725 per 100 000 live births, the highest in the region. This translates to about 2500 women dying each year or 8 deaths a day, according to UNFPA. The petition by the ZCM came at a time when world health leaders are meeting in Washington DC, USA at the Women Deliver Conference also called for the increase in the number of midwives in the developing world to reduce maternal deaths. UNFPA executive director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid said, "The world needs midwives now more than ever. Countries need to make midwifery a priority in plans and budgets. No woman should die giving life and we need to move from speech lines to budget lines." Read: The Standard


GHANA: Health Service Official Voices Concerns on Adolescents and Abortion At Workshop

GNA reported on 13 June on remarks by Benedicta Seshie, South-Tongu District Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), who expressed worry over the increasing cases of pregnancy and abortion among girls between 10 to 14 years in the area. Ms. Seshie, who did not provide data, was addressing a workshop on Gender, Reproductive Health and the Domestic Violence Act, for a cross section of people including chiefs, opinion leaders, teachers and social workers at Sogakope in the Volta Region. The workshop organised by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Ghana) with support from UNFPA was replicated at Akatsi in the Akatsi District. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Parliament Asked to Help Reposition Family Planning

GNA reported on 12 June that Marian Kpahkpah, Acting Executive Director of the National Population Council, requested the support of Parliament in repositioning family planning in national development affairs. Jude Edochie, UNFPA Representative in the country, said UNFPA remained committed to promoting the rights of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity."UNFPA will continue to support countries in the use of population data to develop evidence-based policies and programmes aimed at reducing poverty and ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV and AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect," he added. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Violence Against Women Remains Common

GNA reported on 2 June that Chief Superintendent of Police, Elizabeth Dassah, National Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), expressed concern about the high level of violence still perpetuated against women and children despite interventions to curb it. She expressed her appreciation to UNFPA for sponsoring the workshop."We thank the UNFPA Ghana for all its assistance to us including the provision of office equipment, vehicles, field trips and the renovation of our office accommodation," added Ms. Dassah. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Youth Summit Identifies Concerns

GNA reported on 20 May on a youth advocacy assembly has been held at Saltpond. The children, drawn from Junior High Schools in the Mfantseman Municipality identified teenage pregnancy, poor BECE results, poor sanitation, child trafficking and child labour, truancy by school children and destruction of a stone quarry at Abonko near Mankessim as major issues affecting the youth and advancement of the municipality. The youth advocacy assembly was sponsored by the Mfantseman Area Development Programme of World Vision Ghana, in partnership with UNFPA and the National Youth Council (NYC).  The youth advocacy assembly was sponsored by the Mfantseman Area Development Programme of World Vision Ghana, in partnership with UNFPA and the National Youth Council (NYC). Read: GNA



GHANA: GNA reported on 30 April on an event marking the International Day of the Midwife. Speaking at the event, Ellias Sory, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, pledged to review policies governing medical training and Frederica Hanson, a representative of UNFPA, said her outfit has prioritized reduction in maternal mortality ratios and support specific safe motherhood interventions in approximately 90 countries. Read: GNA

YEMEN: Multiple media outlets reported on 3 May on an event marking the International Day of the Midwife. UNFPA Deputy Representative Zeljka Mudrovcic, pointed out in her speech that the death of more than 8000 Yemeni women every year due to causes related, directly or indirectly, to pregnancy and delivery. Therefore, “Yemen needs midwives now more than ever” Medrovich said."Yemen, with scattered population communities- most of them hard to reach, and Yemen with limited resource, not enough of Health Centers needs more than ever midwives” she added. Ms. Mudrovcic called on Yemen’s government, private sector, and donor community to address and resolve the shortage and the growing critical nneeds of Yemeni mothers, to help minimize child mortality, and to combat HIV in Yemen. Read in Arabic: News Yemen, Al Estakari, Al Tagheer, and Al Waten


GLOBAL: UNFPA Report Has New Urban Planning Vision

United News of Bangladesh reported on 26 March and Ghana News Agency and UN News Centre reported on 22 March that a new report backed by UNFPA lays out a new vision for urban planning to transform the way cities across the developing world grow. That vision incorporates a flexible building design to allow families to expand their homes upwards by up to three stories. Read: GNA


GHANA: Training Workshop on Gender Responsive Budgeting

GNA reported on 8 February on a national training workshop on Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) for Regional Coordinating Councils and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in Sunyani. Participants attending the three-day workshop, sponsored by UNFPA, are from Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions. Read: GNA

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: Tamale Fistula Centre Faces Problems

Joy Online reported on 2 February that the Tamale Fistula Centre that was inaugurated for the treatment of obstetric fistula last July faces problems that are hampering commencement of operations. The centre was established by the Ghana Health Service with funding from UNFPA . Read: Joy Online

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: DOVVSU Adopts Strategic Plan for Improvement

Modern Ghana reported 24 January on the launch of a Strategic Plan for the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service for 2010-2015 in Accra. The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Paul Quaye, pointed out that DOVVSU is embarking on advocacy programme to sensitize the public to act cautiously and responsibly, in order to avoid conditions that encourage domestic violence and child abuse. He pointed out that despite its immense performance, the Police force and other stakeholders, such as UNFPA and UNICEF, there was still much to be done.  Read: Modern Ghana

Filed under: Africa, Ghana Comments Off

GHANA: 2010 Census Will Take Place

Modern Ghana reported 6 January that The 2010 Population and Housing Census would definitely come off this year contrary to media reports that the project might not take place, Dr. Grace Bediako, Government Statistician has said. In the 2009 Budget, Government provided GH¢5 million and has also provided GH¢32 million in this year's budget. The rest would be funded by development partners including UNDP, UNFPA, DANIDA, UNICEF, Swiss and Chinese Governments. Read: Modern Ghana

Filed under: Africa, Ghana No Comments