Daily News reported on 30 July on growing concerns over the country’s rapid rate of population growth and urbanization. The article noted that UNFPA Representative Julitta Onabanjo expressed concern for the country’s prospects for economic growth if rapid population growth continues. UNFPA Assistant Representative Christopher Mwaijonga discussed the rapid growth of cities and Dar es Salaam, in particular, as a cause for concern and urged the government to take steps to slow the flow of people to urban slums.
La Nación reported on 30 July on the presentation of a publication on “Population Dynamics and Population Centres At the Territorial Border.” The publication was to be presented at a workshop on 2 August. UNFPA co-organized the workshop and sponsored the presentation of Paulo Lara and Norma Rubiano, international specialists who presented a model of border city development to demonstrate experiences and highlight good practices in addressing population dynamics at the border. Read in Spanish: La Nacion and IP Paraguay
Ellas Virtual reported on 30 July that UNFPA Assistant Representative in Panama, Laura Flores, participated in the XI Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is organized every three years by ECLAC and concludes with a consensus statement on the priority gender issues for governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms. Flores discussed the outcome of the most recent previous conference, saying, “Civil society made an important contribution on progress on the Quito Consensus, stating clearly need the realize the universal right to sexual and reproductive health, decriminalization of abortion and ensuring treatment for HIV and AIDS.” Read in Spanish: Ellas Virtual
Dawn reported on 30 July and The News International reported on 29 July on the persistence of maternal mortality and lack of skilled health providers. Two women die every hour during delivery whereas 60 to 70 per cent of babies are born at home and are delivered by untrained women, said Dr. Sadiqa Jaffery while speaking at a seminar at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre which was organized in connection with the International Midwifery Day. Dr. Shershah Syed, noted obstetrician, strongly criticised successive governments for their apathy towards issues related to public education and health, and said there was little hope things would change at the government level. “There are simply no tutors for midwifery available in the country. The government has never made an effort to provide midwifery students with proper literature. It was the Pakistan Medical Association that printed books in Urdu for students,” he said. “With the support of foreign donors, around 1,925 midwives from across the country have so far been trained in Karachi. The government has no credit for this. Even the money with which the Punjab government bought books on midwifery from the PMA was given by the UNFPA.” Read: Dawn
Cameroon Tribune reported on 30 July that the 22 July flood tragedy gave birth to a chain of solidarity which will ease the suffering of victims. The first wave of international aid arrived for the affected Township of Pouss. A joint team from UNICEF, the Red Cross and UNFPA visited the affected areas. In their luggage, bedding, hygiene of the kids, buckets, towels, soap, toothbrushes and a kit containing health equipment. Read in French: Cameroon Tribune
H-Plus TV reported on 29 July on the work of a UNFPA-supported project which addresses the rapid population ageing in Thailand where the concerned government offices and civil society network cooperate in a manner to improve access of older persons to economic security, health and social services and welfare.
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
Les Depeches de Brazzaville, DRTV and Congo-site reported on 28-29 July on a ceremony held at UNFPA in the framework of UN Cares, whereby UNFPA Representative David Lawson made a donation of condoms worth $20,000 to UN Resident Coordinator Lamin Manneh. It included 160,000 male condoms and 15,000 female condoms for the 800 UN staff members of the 11 UN agencies present in Congo, including the WHO Regional Office for Africa. Mr. Lawson said, "It is estimated that 5 per cent of UN staff worldwide are living with HIV, it is our role to lead by example in the response to HIV in our workplace." Read: Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Congo-Site
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Tele Pointe-Noire and La Semaine Africaine reported on 27 July on World Population Day celebrations that took place from 9-11 July in Pointe Noire, the economic capital and second largest city in Congo and the surrounding Kouilou Province, organized jointly by UNFPA and 26 civil society organizations. UNFPA Representative David Lawson was represented by the Head of UNFPA sub-office in Pointe Noire Bruno Bilombo for the occasion.
LAO PDR: KPL and Vientiane Times reported on 26 and 27 July on an event marking World Population Day. Core participants at the event, entitled “Data for Development: Everyone Counts,” agreed that accurate data is critically important and required by policymakers when devising strategies and plans. "Data is critical to understand where we are and to track progress towards achieving national goals," said Mieko Yabuta, UNFPA representative.
ROMANIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 21-27 July on preparations for Romania’s upcoming census and celebrations of World Population Day. To mark World Population Day, UNFPA Romania organized a Panel Discussion focusing on the importance and significance of demographic data collection and analysis for the elaboration of public policies. The Panel Discussion was attended by specialists from the academic world and representatives of civil society organizations and of media. The Panel Discussion was based on the presentation of two population studies, Student Perceptions of the Elderly in Romania and the Comparative Study on Elderly Situation in Romania, carried out by the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and the Centre for Population Studies, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. The event was also an opportunity to underline the importance of conducting the Romanian Census 2011 for acquiring an accurate picture of fundamental demographic data such as population number and distribution, socio-cultural and economic structures, housing and living conditions. Read in Romanian: Sanatatea TV, Sanatatea TV, Amos News, Cronica Romana, Ziare, Kappa, Bursa, Adevarul, Economistul, Cuvantul
TANZANIA: Daily News, The Guardian and The Citizen reported on 25 - 29 July on UNFPA-sponsored events marking World Population Day. Discussing the global theme, “Everyone Counts,” Ms. Onabanjo urged Tanzanians to take the census seriously and said, “Using sound statistics and data ensures the needs and circumstances of all people are well placed and that investments are truly directed at improving their lives, particularly the most marginalized, deprived and poverty stricken.” In Tanzania, the day’s theme was “Everyone Counts in Planning for Development.” Events marked both the importance of the census and the challenges that remain to its conduct and the national theme’s emphasis on universal participation to attain national development goals. Read: Daily News
VENEZUELA: El Mundo reported on 26 July that UNFPA and the National Statistics Institute (INE) marked World Population Day with a discussion on the human rights dimensions of this year’s theme, “Everyone Counts.” INE President Elias Eljuri Abraham, said the discussion was conducted in order to exchange views and experiences on census and the development of public policies based on demographic data in Venezuela and the world. Read in Spanish: El Mundo
Gia dinh va Xa hoi (Family and Society) reported on 28 July that Viet Nam needs to take action immediately to prevent Sex Ratio at Birth imbalance. According to UNFPA, Viet Nam is moving in the right direction. However, more comprehensive behavior-change communications could be carried out involving mass media, civil society and health workers. In addition, it is also important to reinforce the social security scheme for the elderly so that families are not entirely dependent on sons in their old age. Read in Vietnamese: Family and Society
Al Ayam reported on 28 July that the Combating Violence against Women Unit of the Ministry of Justice, in partnership with UNFPA and the Training Directorate at the Ministry of Interior, organized a three-week-long training for female police officers on criminal investigation of violence against women in relation to human rights. The objective of the training is to have trained female police cadre who can protect basic human rights of victims of violence and to encourage women to report cases to the police.
The Star (Canada) published a column by Rosie DiManno on 28 July on the urgent need for new investments in health in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She wrote, “Every hour of every day, four females in the Democratic Republic of Congo die from complications of pregnancy and labour, according to statistics from UNFPA. For every woman who dies giving birth, between 20 and 30 suffer serious health problems such as obstetric fistula” Read: The Star
Congo-site reported on 28 July on the opening ceremony of the National Forum of Women. The forum was organized by women civil society organizations with financial support by UNFPA and Government and is intended to review progress on the status of women over 50 years of Congolese independence. The outcomes of the Forum will inform the Independence celebrations. In his address on behalf of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, State Minister Mvouba called for more women in decision-making position, women's empowerment and autonomy and expressed the hope that a woman be elected President of Congo within the next fifty years. Read in French: Congo-Site
UNITED KINGDOM: The Independent reported on 28 July on a demonstration of the FC2, a female condom, at The XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, Austria, noting that according to UNFPA "In 2005, nearly two thirds of all female condoms were used in Africa, while the next largest shares went to North America and Europe. Asia accounted for less than 1 per cent of the global total in 2005, though figures for later years may be higher due to growth in India.” Read: The Independent
UNITED STATES: Women’s eNews reported on 29 July that some advocates at the International AIDS Conference greeted news of the results of an HIV gel coolly, saying more was needed than a "medicalized" response to an epidemic that travels a social pathway of infringed women's rights. While medical research news is welcome, Purnima Mane, deputy executive director of UNFPA said that women's infection risks are often aggravated by social, rather than medical, issues. "The vulnerability of women, the issues that are impacting women, haven't changed as much as they should because they are not related to HIV, they are related to women's situations in general," she said in an interview. Read: Women’s eNews
Reuters AlertNet, UzReport (Uzbekistan) and Caspian Weekly published, on 27 July, accounts by a UNFPA staff member and photographer’s on their experiences of the humanitarian crisis in Kyrgyzstan. The situation remains difficult for people in the region. Following a recent joint United Nations inter-agency assessment mission in early July in which UNFPA staff participated, the United Nations estimates that 75,000 people are currently displaced and up to 400,000 have been directly affected by the violence. UNFPA Kyrgyzstan has distributed essential hygiene supplies, adult and baby clothes, medicine and medical supplies to people in affected areas through the Red Crescent Society in Kyrgyzstan and the Reproductive Health Centre. Read: UzReport and AlertNet
Saba News reported on 27 July that the Woman National Committee (WNC), in collaboration with UNFPA, organized a workshop for 50 participants from government agencies, civic organizations, and workers from the WNC to review a report on legal amendments on women's rights. The workshop also aimed to introduce participants to the findings of the legal teams established by the WNC, to review many legal articles and to propose amendments to discriminatory laws to be in line with international agreements. Read in Arabic: Saba
Diario Nacional & Televuzaun Timor-Leste reported on 27 July that the Ministry of Health held a three-day workshop to review implementation of its health programmes in cooperation with the development partners. In his speech opening the workshop, Health Minister Nelson Martins said this workshop was held to identify how well the health sector had implemented its activities and health services to benefit the country’s people. The workshop was organized by Health Ministry, World Bank, UN agencies, including UNFPA, and national and international NGOs.
Russia Profile reported on 27 July that First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva's Foundation of Social and Cultural Initiatives held a national 'Week against Abortions' from 8 to 15 July. The initiative brought together health workers, sociologists, psychologists and religious organizations to raise awareness about the dangers of abortion. But despite the efforts of such information campaigns, and even though contraception is widely available, Russia still has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. In 2009 alone, 1.16 million abortions were carried out - that's 66.7 terminations per 100 births. ”In Russia, only 8 to 15 per cent of females of reproductive age use modern contraceptives, while 16 percent of women who are not planning to get pregnant do not use any contraception,” said Lidia Bardakova, the assistant representative of UNFPA in Russia. Read: Russia Profile
Última Hora and SC Noticias (Paraguay), La Nación (Venezuela) reported on 27 July that according to new findings from UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA, 98 per cent of children whose families were participating the Tekoporã programme of the Social Action Secretariat attend school regularly, compared to 86 per cent of those whose families were not. The report was released yesterday by the Social Action Secretariat, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Culture programme and the Investing in People initiative of UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA. Read in Spanish: Ultima Hora, SC Noticias and La Nacion
The Messenger reported on 27 July that Georgian magazine Amarta and UNFPA Georgia have issued a special edition of the magazine. The 2010 summer edition highlights the themes of reproductive health, abortion, reproductive tract cancer prevention, healthy lifestyles, drugs, alcoholism, early marriages, youth, violence against women and male involvement in combating gender-based violence, prostitution, trafficking, demography and ageing. Tamar Khomazuridze, Assistant Representative of the UNFPA Georgia Country Office, assessed the joint project with Amarta as “important.” “It reflects our common interests and attitude towards social issues, such as women’s health, youth and population development,” she noted. Read: The Messenger
The Daily Observer reported on 27 July that the Association of Health Journalists of The Gambia in collaboration with UNFPA recently organized a 3-day workshop for 30 journalists across the country on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Read: The Daily Observer
Le Observateur and Le Potentiel reported on 27 July on the opening ceremony of the meeting of the Central Africa section of African Youth and Adolescent Network on Population and Development, which was held from 26 -30 July in Kinshasa, DRC. The opening ceremony was chaired by the Principal Adviser of the President of the DRC, in the presence of the Minister of Gender and the Minister of Youth, as well as the Resident Representative of UNFPA in DRC. The Forum’s theme was gender, maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS, was attended by young people from the DRC, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Sao Tomé, Burundi, and Equatorial Guinea. Read in French: Le Observateur and Le Potentiel
IPS reported on 26 July that Uruguay is on the point of reaching the Millennium Development Goal for reducing the maternal mortality ratio, but it is still behind in other aspects of maternal health, like providing integrated sexual and reproductive health care, fighting syphilis and checking on mothers and babies during the postpartum period. Of Uruguay’s successes, the article noted that antenatal care has been a priority area since 2008, with extra funds for health centres that meet quality and quantity targets for prenatal services; and UNFPA has financed the purchase of contraceptives, for distribution through primary care services. Read: IPS
The Observer reported on 26 July on the influences of child marriage, coerced sex, lack of education on family planning on early pregnancy, social isolation and school dropouts of girls in Uganda. The article noted that the UNFPA’s State of World Population Report, 2006, rated Uganda with the highest teenage pregnancy rate in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, childbearing and sexual activity starts as early as 14 and by 15, 30 per cent of females have had sexual intercourse. By 18, the proportion has increased to 72 per cent. Read: The Observer
The New Times reported on 25 July that delegates from all the five East African Community partner states descended on the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha to attend a high-level multisectoral stakeholder consultative meeting, seen as an impetus in mooting common strategies to address key reproductive health and sexual challenges. The meeting, organized by the EAC Secretariat and jointly sponsored by UNFPA and IPPF, is mainly focusing on the progress taken towards the implementation of the so-called Maputo Plan of Action. Read: The New Times
New Straits Times reported on 25 July on the draft module of “I’m In Control” for comprehensive sexuality education currently being pilot tested with financial support from UNFPA. Read: New Straits Times
Hondudiario reported on 25 July that a new report by UNFPA shows that men start their sexual initiation on average at age 16 while it is 18 for women. Read in Spanish: Hondudiario
PNA (The Philippines) reported on 25 July that the United Nations chief has recently launched a Joint Plan of Action to accelerate progress on safe motherhood calling for 2010 to be a turning point for women's health. According to a press release issued by the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Tehran, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made the call as the maternal mortality rates in Africa were among the highest in the world. UNIC quoted the UN Deputy Secretary General Asha-Rose Migiro as saying that the international body voiced readiness to work with African leaders to improve health services in the continent. Ms. Migiro made the remarks in a statement published on the verge of the African Union Summit which is to be held this week. The deputy secretary general regretted that despite all efforts made in Africa by the UN and its affiliated bodies including UNICEF and UNFPA, progress in reaching the Millennium Development Goal of drastically reducing maternal mortality rates "has been abysmally slow."
AFRICA: Multiple media outlets published an op-ed by UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose-Migiro on the upcoming African Union summit’s potential as a forum for improving maternal health in Africa. She wrote, “The news of a pregnancy should ideally be met with joy – but all too often there is justifiable fear. The African Union Summit this week, set to focus on the health of mothers and children, has a chance to transform this fear into hope.” In addition, she noted, “In Sudan, 16-year old Awatif Altayib lost her baby following two days of difficult labour, and emerged from the ordeal herself injured with obstetric fistula. Her future with this debilitating condition looked bleak – until she recovered with assistance from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners. Now Awatif is a working midwife, helping other women to survive.” Read: Peace FM (Ghana)
SIERRA LEONE: Cocorioko reported on 21 July on continuing media reports on the African Union Summit, noting that the Daily Monitor reported that Hassan Mohtashami, the deputy representative of UNFPA in Uganda, who discussesd strategies to reduce the number of maternal deaths. “Ensuring access to family planning services is one way we can reduce maternal deaths. It’s a simple calculation; the less number of pregnancies, the less chances of dying. It’s not about population control but health of the mother and having a good family planning programme all over the country,” he said. The presence of a skilled health worker during delivery is another effective way to reduce maternal deaths, Mohtashami said. Read: Cocorioko
UGANDA: The New Vision reported on 25 July that G8 leaders have committed $10m annually to fund maternal and child health in Africa and other developing nations, the AU chairman, Malawi President Bingu Wa Mutharika, has said. He told the AU summit yesterday that the G8 leaders made the pledge at their summit in Canada. The theme for the AU summit is “Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa.” Mr. Mutharika suggested that African leaders invest in food security to reverse the high maternal and infant mortality in the continent. According to UNFPA, about 240,000 mothers die annually in Africa while giving birth. Read: The New Vision
The New Vision reported on 21 July that ahead of the upcoming African Union Summit, Uganda has not ratified the Maputo Protocol which calls for the promotion of African women’s rights over abortion. The protocol, which calls for women’s civil, political and reproductive health rights, also calls for a blanket right to abortion. “Research shows that 80 per cent of maternal deaths could be averted if women had access to essential maternity and basic health care services,” the UNFPA gender advisor for Africa, Miriam Jato, said. The Akina Mama wa Africa executive director, Solome Nakaweesi Kimbugwe, noted that some of the African countries have not signed and ratified the protocol due to lack of political will because they feel women issues do not matter. She added that most countries also lack advocacy because people do not understand what is in the protocol. Read: New Vision
IRIN reported on 23 July on the struggle to effectively market female condoms, noting that there are numerous brands and types, and that “the FC2 condom which has WHO approval and has been widely distributed by UNFPA” is the only WHO-approved female condom. Read: IRIN
LATIN AMERICA: IPS reported on 22 July that HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Latin America are insufficient. The regional director of UNFPA, Marcela Suazo highlighted the cases of Colombia, where resources have been designated for education and health services, and Cuba, which she described as an "important experience that demonstrates the ties between education and health policies." Read: IPS and in Spanish: IPS
MALAWI: The Sunday Times reported on 25 July that UNFPA, through its “Condomize” campaign distributed 1 million condoms during the recent AIDS conference. “We cannot wait for a vaccine, a microbicide, a new technology, we have something today and we just can’t neglect it,” said UNFPA HIV/AIDS Technical Advisor Bidia Deperthes.
UN TV reported on 24 July on the work of a UNFPA-supported centre to provide sexuality education and life skills to adolescents, including young parents. Watch: UN TV