Reportage reported on 22 October that despite calls for the religious community to come together to help fight HIV, the disease and its associated stigmas are still a taboo subject in the Pacific. Dirk Jena, Director and UNFPA Representative to the Pacific Sub-Regional Office of UNFPA, said, “The fact that we still see widespread ignorance and negative attitudes to people living with HIV; and some groups is illustrative that faith-based organizations can do more.” He added, “The most important role for church leaders is to recognize that some young people are sexually active, and to help ensure that they are protected from diseases and feel able to come forward for sexual and reproductive health services and care.” Read: Reportage
The Jakarta Post on 22 October reported that speakers at a two-day conference in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, agreed that parliamentarians, government institutions, NGOs and civil society must work together to eliminate violence against women throughout the Asia-Pacific region. UNFPA Representative Jose Ferraris reminded listeners that the passing of laws was not the ultimate goal. “Our responsibility does not stop there,” he said. Parliamentarians, according to Ferraris, must also play a part to ensure that the laws they have passed are translated into tangible actions which bring positive change, actions that will help women’s voices be better heard, actions which provide protection and support for women, and actions to ensure that perpetrators of violence are penalized. Violence against women, he added, is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a comprehensive approach that should involve parliamentarians, the judiciary, the police and law enforcement agencies, social welfare agencies and civil society including women’s organizations and religious and traditional community leaders. Read: The Jakarta Post
Gazetiko and Midi-Madagasikara reported on 22 October that Madagascar adapted a new Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) in-service training curriculum based on an EmONC course developed, tested and validated by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in collaboration with the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG) and WHO. The curriculum was first adapted to the Madagascar context and then a pilot training conducted. Averting Maternal Death and Disability (AMDD) of Columbia University provided the technical support with regards to the monitoring and evaluation of this course. After the pilot training, the curriculum was revised and the length of training increased from three to four days. Three group of participants (doctors, midwives and nurses) were trained in EmONC using this new curricula. The activity is financed by UNFPA.
Eyewitness News and IRIN reported on 22 October that the South African sex work industry has released a new report that has shown the country's recent soccer World Cup did not fuel a rise in sex work - and that thousands of dollars may have been wasted on ill-tailored HIV prevention campaigns. New research by the South Africa’s Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and partners, such as UNFPA, has shown that sex work was unlikely to have fuelled any rise in HIV infections during South Africa’s recent month-long World Cup, contrary to expectations. Read: IRIN and Eyewitness News
African Woman magazine reported on 22 October on the UNFPA-sponsored Acholi Football Tournament, which presented an opportunity for both young men and women to compete. The event raised awareness of issues related to gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health.