Viet Nam Plus and VOV News reported on 31 August that the Ministry of Health presented its minister’s certificate of merit and an insignia for the cause of population health to UNFPA deputy representative, Urmila Singh. Addressing the event, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Ba Thuy said that over the past 30 years UNFPA has made important contributions to Viet Nam’s health care through population, family planning and reproductive health activities. The presentation aimed to recognize Urmila Singh’s valuable contributions to Vietnamese maternal and child health care, he added. As UNFPA deputy representative since 2006, Urmila Singh has contributed effectively to the cooperative relationship between UNFPA and Viet Nam. Read in English: Viet Nam News Agency; Voice of Viet Nam and in Vietnamese: Gia dinh va Xa hoi; Viet Nam News Agency
The Swazi Observer reported on 31 August on the farewell of UNFPA Representative Aisha Camara-Drammeh. She applauded government for the approval of the gender policy and referred to it as her exit gift. Ms. Camara-Drammeh said the next step was its implementation, which she said was crucial. She thanked the UN team in Swaziland for their support. Read: The Swazi Observer
The Daily Trust reported on 31 August that Nigeria is on course in the reduction of maternal and child death and disease in line with the five-year benchmark set by the African Union (AU). Mohammed Pate, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Development Agency, made this known in Abuja. Dr. Pate explained that as part of the strategies, the country planned to expand its Midwives Service Scheme to 1,000 primary health centres while new clusters had been identified and spread in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. "Additional midwives are being recruited and we are preparing to retain more than 10,000 community health workers by the end of March 2011," he said. Dr. Pate stated that Nigeria was partnering with the WHO and UNFPA to ensure that the benchmark was realized. Read: Daily Trust
El Nuevo Diario reported on 31 August that “more peace, less AIDS,” is the slogan that the directors of the Nicaraguan Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (ASONVIHSIDA) presented to representatives of the Netherlands, European Union, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP. Read in Spanish: El Nuevo Diario
Times of India reported on 31 August that Aakrosh an Indian movie on “honour” killing, will be released worldwide by October. The action-thriller film is meant as a wake-up call for the Indian audience about the heinous crime. “Honour” killings arising from caste wars have become constant media headlines in India. According to a UNFPA report, an estimated 5,000 people are victims of “honour” killing across the globe, with about 1,000 such killings happening in India every year. Read: Times of India
The Latin American Herald Tribune and EFE reported on 31 August that a special rapporteur reported on the sale of children, child prostitution and the use of children in pornography. UNFPA’s Najat M'jid, spoke on the “social tolerance” that exists in El Salvador in regards to crimes committed against minors. “All the actors, be they state, private or associations, told me that the problem continues to increase and that it seems to affect girls more than boys,” said the UNFPA rapporteur. Read: Latin American Herald Tribune and in Spanish: EFE
UN News Centre reported on 31 August that the recent savage mass rapes of civilians by armed groups in the volatile far east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) underscores the need for an end to impunity for perpetrators of such crimes, a senior United Nations official said. According to UNFPA, more than 9,000 cases of rape were reported last year in North and South Kivu provinces alone, while many cases are believed to go unreported. Read: UN News Centre
Multiple media outlets reported on 30-31 August that the National Programme for Comprehensive Health in Adolescence, with support from UNFPA in Argentina, performed a workshop on adolescent reproductive health directed to pediatricians all over the country. The meeting was celebrated on 1 September in the city of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires. The workshop took place in the framework of the seventh Argentine Congress of the Adolescent Health. According to the organizers, its importance lies in the high levels of pregnancy and maternal mortality in adolescence. Read in Spanish: Pagina 12 and Telam
Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 3 September on a workshop held in the city of Pointe Noire, on 31 August on AIDS discrimination and stigmatization in the field of health care. The workshop recommended greater cooperation between people living with HIV/AIDS and medical personnel. This workshop was organized by the Reseau Sida Afrique with support by Azur development, the National Endowment for Democracy, and UNFPA. Chair of the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS andUNFPA Representative David Lawson, was represented by Bruno Bilombo, Head of the UNFPA Sub-office in Pointe-Noire. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
The Awareness times reported on 30 August that the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Sia Nyama Koroma has recently explained to the public the rationale behind the formation of her very successful projects undertaken in her quest to combat maternal and child morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone. Addressing her audience during the official launch of the United Methodist Church (UMC) ‘Imagine No Malaria’ campaign at the Hotel Bamoi in Aberdeen Freetown, the First Lady Mrs. Koroma said she thought it wise that good health is the most fundamental human right. It is on this backdrop, she went on, that the Office of the First Lady, with support from UNFPA, developed the Women’s Initiative for Safer Health (WISH). Read: Awareness Times
Notimex reported 30 August that UNFPA called on young Mexicans and foreigners residing in the country to the fourth “Look Younger” photography contest. Read in Spanish: Notimex
El Periódico and La Brújula (Nicaragua) reported on 30 August that a campaign was initiated called “three days” aimed at rape survivors. Three days, or 72 hours, is the time period in which drugs can be taken to prevent pregnancy, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. The information will not use mass media to inform the public, but instead will use alternative and direct contact with potential victims of sexual violence. Convergence is driven by the Women's Citizenship, the Ministry of Health and UNFPA. Read in Spanish: El Periodico and La Brujula
The New Statesman (U.K.) published a column by Mary Fitzgerald on 30 August on numerous challenges related to rapid population growth, climate change, poverty reduction and reproductive health and women’s rights. Ms. Fitzgerald quoted numerous UNFPA experts and publications. She wrote, “When I asked the head of the UNFPA's population and development branch about the need to introduce policies encouraging women throughout the world - and particularly in the west - to have fewer children, he would not endorse it."We're not promoting any particular policy to increase or decrease fertility," José Miguel Guzman explained. "Our main goal is to give women the power to decide how many children they have, and to pressure governments into introducing policies that reduce per-capita emissions." Read: The New Statesman
The Fiji Times reported on 30 August that representatives from 14 Pacific island countries are in Suva to review how best to secure supplies of reproductive health commodities in their countries. The group is comprised of reproductive health co-ordinators, national procurement managers and chief pharmacists. The two-week workshop organized by UNFPA is a follow-up to the 2008 Pacific Ministers of Health meeting, where the ministers renewed their commitment to strengthen the management of reproductive health commodities in their countries, a statement said. Read: Fiji Times
The Sunday News reported on 29 August on Houses of Hope, an organization supported by UNFPA, which works to address domestic violence by serving survivors and conducting public campaigns, such as the recent “Don’t kick her, kick a ball” public information campaign in Tanzania.
The Daily Times reported on 29 August that the UN supports Turkmenistan’s initiative to open the Centre of the UN Environment Programme for the Economies of Central Asia and the Caspian Basin. Turkmenistan actively works in the field of environmental protection, climate change and energy efficiency. This work includes supporting the development of policies and strategies, and contributing to specific environmental problem solving. Given that the country is located in a seismic zone, Turkmenistan’s cooperation with the UN on matters related to emergency preparedness is vital. UNHCR, UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA have been working in this direction. Read: Daily Times
Kuensel Online reported on 28 August that parliamentarians are now reviewing the contents of a domestic violence bill proposed by the National Council for Women and Children (NCWC). Two of the main recommendations of the bill are to establish women and child protection units in every police station, and to set up crisis centres to facilitate care for the victims and to maintain records. NCWC is proposing the bill with the support from UNFPA. Read: Kuensel Online
Congo-site reported on 27 August on the outcomes of the Vienna International AIDS Conference and National AIDS Executive Coordinator, Mari-Francke Purhuence reported that Congo’s experience in the fight against HIV/AIDS had been internationally saluted at the conference as the prevalence rate decreased from 4.1 to 3.2 per cent in 2009. Free HIV voluntary testing and counselling, including mobile clinics and free AIDS treatment, care and support are part of the successful strategy to which UNFPA contributes through direct financing of mobile clinics, UN prevention leadership and UNAIDS Theme Group chairmanship by UNFPA Representative David Lawson since July 2009. Read in French: Congo-site
Página 12 reported on 27 August on UNFPA’s support for a national youth network on sexual and reproductive health, which provides opportunities for young people to interact with their peers and advocate for their rights. Read in Spanish: Pagina 12
GLOBAL: UN News Centre reported on 26 August that, with half of the world’s nearly 2 billion young people living on less than $2 a day, now is the time to invest in “the leaders of today and the makers of tomorrow,” according to the head of UNFPA. In a message to the World Youth Conference in Léon, Mexico, the agency’s Executive Director, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, stressed that “young people are not just the future; they are very much the present.” Read: UN News Centre
LATIN AMERICA: EFE reported on 23 August on the opening of the World Youth Conference in Mexico. UNFPA called on governments to invest more in young people and to address their specific needs. UNFPA Deputy Executive Director Purnima Mane said, “We know that investing in young people is still scarce in terms of education, health, employment and leadership. In all of these areas, young people have made some progress, but not enough.” She also called on governments to involve young people in decision-making. Read in Spanish: EFE and in Portuguese: EFE
AZERBAIJAN: News.Az reported on 23 August on the opening of the World Youth Conference, noting that the Azerbaijani delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Intigam Babayev and General Secretary of the IRELI Public Union Rauf Mardiyev. The event is supported by UNFPA. Read: News.Az
BRAZIL: Diario do Vale (Brazil) reported on 24 August that UN representatives, together with the Mexican Government, opened the ministerial segment of the World Youth Conference in Mexico. The Conference aims to identify the priorities for the 1.2 billion young people living in the world and address them in the context of the MDGs. In her opening speech, Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA, Purnima Mane, said, “Now is the time to invest in young people and to promote dialogue and understanding across cultures and generations.” Read in Portuguese: Diario do Vale
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 24 August on the World Youth Forum organized by the Mexican government in partnership with the United Nations. UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid in her opening statement said, "We hope that the world will listen to young people and that leaders will enhance their investment in youth, education, health and employment." A parallel NGO social forum was opened by Deputy Executive Director Purnima Mane and Mexican Youth Institute Director-General Priscila Vera. Mexican President Philippe Calderon opened a governmental forum on 25 August along with Ms. Obaid. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
COSTA RICA: La Prensa Libre reported on 26 August that after several weeks of preparation, 31 young people will represent Costa Rica in the World Youth Conference 2010, in Mexico. They traveled 22 August to the important and historic event that aims to bring together youth from countries around the world. The national delegation is led by Youth Minister Manuel Obregón and the Deputy Minister of Youth Karina Bolaños. The young people travelled to Mexico with the financial support of UNFPA and UNDP.
MEXICO: Milenio reported on 27 August and Publimetro reported on 23 August on the World Youth Conference and the situation of young people in Mexico and Latin America. In an interview UNFPA Deputy Executive Director Purnima Mane discussed the situation of young people in Mexico. Ms. Mane remarked on the need to confront the violence that affects young people, “In a situation like this one (of violence), it is critical to invest in them so that they can have a better future.” Her thoughts were echoed by Marcela Suazo, UNFPA Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, who called for more efforts to address the situation of the twenty per cent of young people who are neither in school nor employed. Read in Spanish: Publimetro
PARAGUAY: ABC reported on 26 August that the World Youth Conference 2010 was held in the city of León, Guanajuato (Mexico). Paraguay was represented by Daisy Noelia Navarro, of the feminist NGO the Ramonas, Miguel Angel Moraez of the Alda Foundation, Tanny Mongelós from the Centre for Information and Resources for Development and Ariel Gonzalez, a member of the Youth Coalition. The group was supported by UNFPA. Read in Spanish: ABC
Al-Tagheer and Al Eshteraki reported on 26 August that the Youth Leadership Development Foundation launched a series of documentary films that deal with a range of issues relating to gender and reproductive rights. These films are part of the outputs of a programme called “Camera is the Voice of Youth” that was implemented with UNFPA support. The programme, which lasts for six months, aims to give young people a moderate voice to talk about gender and reproductive rights through documentaries. Fifty three young people were trained on gender and reproductive rights and on the basics of documentary film making. Read in Arabic: Al-Tagheer and Al Eshteraki
Radio Miraya, the UN Mission in Sudan Radio, featured, on 26 August, a discussion with UNFPA reproductive health specialists of the ongoing Campaign to End Fistula in Southern Sudan. The campaign started on 16 August and will continue until 15 September. During Miraya radio talk, UNFPA specialists explained what obstetric fistula is, how it occurs, how to prevent it, and other related facts. They spoke about the campaign to end fistula in Southern Sudan, calling upon all fistula survivors to get free treatment at Rumbek State Hospital. They reminded that UNFPA provides free transportation from all 10 states of Southern Sudan to Rumbek State and free accommodation, as well as meals. What is needed from fistula survivors is only to register and get identified in the ministry of health of their respective states.
IRIN reported on 26 August that by promoting education for all, UNFPA hopes to reduce instances of early marriage in Niger. “Education could most often break the cycle of early marriage”, said UNFPA’s deputy in Niamey, Saidou Kabore. “Girls will not marry while studying. And then, the more a woman is educated, the fewer children she will generally have.” By 2015, the country aims to reduce the proportion of early marriages from 60 to 40 per cent and the number of children per woman to five. Some 18 per cent of its sexually active population should be using contraception by then. Read: IRIN
IRIN reported on 26 August that dozens of Lao women are learning to be midwives as part of a national effort to bring down one of the region’s highest maternal mortality rates. Two families lose a mother and nearly 20 babies are born dead every day, according to UNFPA, which is supporting the government initiative. Read: IRIN
Ameco Press and Cerigua reported on 26 August that Marcela Suazo, the UNFPA Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, participated in the opening of the first regional meeting on the access of women to justice in cases of gender-based violence, with an emphasis on sexual violence. Ms. Suazo declared that any form of violence against women must be condemned by the people or the state, in order to transform the treatment of gender-based violence from a problem that is only part of the private sphere to one that will lead to public outcry. Read in Spanish: Ameco
TANZANIA: The Guardian (Tanzania) reported on 25 August on the story of Salma Saidi Selemani, a Zanzibar woman whose carpentry skills assisted her family’s financial status and all-around well-being. Ms. Selemani displayed her handiwork at recent World Population Day celebration, where UNFPA representative Julitta Onabanjo underscored the importance of high quality data, including on women like Ms. Selemani, who hold few positions of public authority.
Al-Thawra and Al-Tagheer reported on 25 August that UNFPA representative Marc Vandenberghe confirmed UNFPA’s continued support of Yemen’s efforts to address population issues in the country. He stated that UNFPA is a key partner in population work in Yemen through supported programmes, activities, and events carried out by actors in the population field, especially the National Population Council (NPC). Vandenberghe pointed out that UNFPA will continue to provide technical support for NPC for the success of its population programmes and activities. Read in Arabic: Al-Thageer and Al-Thawra
The Sahel reported on 25 August that UNFPA Niger Country Office through NGO Volunteers for the integration of Education "VIE Kanda Kandé ni Bayra", was awarded to women rural land of Tanda and Falwal, consisting of 44 solar radios donate and 2 kits of stories intended respectively for Club female listener and facilitators in charge of radio reporter. This donation is aimed at improving rural girls and women access to information and to strengthen the promotion of women's leadership. In his speech on this occasion, UNFPA Representative Yacine Diallo indicated that the support is justified by discussions topics developed by community radios on maternal health, schooling for the girl, the prevention of HIV/AIDS, prevention of unintended pregnancies, the participation of women in development, human rights.
The Swazi Observer reported on 25 August that Population Services International (PSI) Swaziland and partners, under the guidance of the Khulisa Umntfwana Organization, will be educating young girls about the importance of abstinence and making informed choices on their health. PSI Swaziland uses various ways to reach out to young boys and girls and encourages them to adopt healthy lifestyle choices. Other partners involved in the initiative are NERCHA, UNICEF, UNFPA, and National Children’s Coordination Unit under the DPM’s office, WLSA, COSAD, Red Cross, FLAS and SYUAHA. Other topics to be covered include gender-based violence, human trafficking and psychosocial support. Read: The Swazi Observer
Concord Times reported on 25 August that over 150 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) drawn from the 15 chiefdoms of Bo district have benefited from a six-day training on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, including HIV prevention, maternal and infant mortality and gender-based violence. The training, jointly organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs, UNFPA and the United Nations Integrated Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), was geared towards the implementation of the United Nations Joint Vision Programme 18. The workshop was a pilot project with three months duration. A similar session will also be held in the northern town of Makeni and plans for it to be replicated in the eastern province are under consideration. Read: Concord Times