The News International reported on 31 January that the National Trust for Population Welfare (NATPOW) had kick-started a UNFPA-funded national level project worth Rs25.176 million for post-flood relief activities. The project proposes to provide mother and child healthcare services, including reproductive health and family planning, in 20 districts. Read: The News International
The Myanmar Times reported on 31 January that UNFPA Representative Mohamed Abdel-Ahad said there was great potential to expand civil society in Myanmar because of the country’s “ingrained voluntary spirit”, which was particularly evident following Cyclone Nargis in May 2008. “People did not wait for the government to step in and clean up the mess. They all cooperated and took action immediately to help each other,” added Mr. Abdel-Ahad. Read: Myanmar Times
Multiple media outlets reported on 31 January on the “Na/Ne” annual media awards ceremony organized by the British Council, British Embassy, Yerevan, the OSCE Office in Yerevan, and UNFPA Armenia Country Office. Over 100 works in seven categories were presented to the annual media contest this year. Gohar Hakobyan from Aravot Daily received the first prize in “Best Print Article” category for her article “Pomegranate Flower ran away from her Father’s Home.” Under “Best Radio Material” category the first prize was awarded to Armine Gevorgyan from Radio Hai. All materials presented to the contest were published or broadcast within the period of January to December 2010 and covered the activities and achievements, problems and challenges of women in political, economic and social spheres from the gender equality perspective. Publications may be presented in any of the journalistic genres. Read in Russian: News.am, Armenia-online.ru, Yerevan.ru. Read in Armenian: Panarmenian.net, Tert.am, Armenpress, Panorama.am, 1in.am, News.am, Neonews.am, Aysor.am, ArmRadio.am, Bravo.am, Armedia.am, Armtown.com, Ema.am, MediaLab.am and PRReality.am
The Standard reported on 30 January on a European Union effort to improve the country’s blood supply, noting that last year, UNFPA introduced a coupon system, whereby each coupon was redeemed for a pint of blood. The UNFPA's coupon system was also targeted at pregnant women who seek services from public institutions. Read: The Standard
ADN reported on 30 January that “The message is to look beyond the information about sex. It has to be approached through an integral and a broad perspective, through the sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality and citizenship”, said Mona Kaidbey, of UNFPA.
RTP 1 and RTP África reported on 25 and 30 January that the work of “Coalizão da Juventude,” a local association, is essential in the efforts to curb the proliferation of HIV among the youth in Mozambique. The report is part of the series “Principes do Nada.” UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Catarina Furtado pointed out that “Coalizão” activities are led by volunteers in schools, neighbourhoods and markets. “Coalizão” is supported by UNFPA in Mozambique and is an implementing agency of the popular ASRH programme “Geração Biz.” The series “Principes do Nada” supports efforts towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
Confidencial reported on 29 January that, within the framework of a project entitled, “Development of policies and initiatives at regional level for youth at risk and in conflict with the law,” a seminar will be held covering topics of Restorative Juvenile Justice in America, from 28 February to March 4 in San Salvador, El Salvador. It is organized by the Faculty of Journalism at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, the Central American Integration System and UNFPA. Read in Spanish: Confidencial
Avesta reported on 29 January that UNFPA, in close cooperation with UNDESA, Strategic Research Centre under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Gerontology Centre of Central Asia, held a presentation of the research on problems facing the elderly in Tajikistan. Results of the research will be used for further programming. Read in Russian: Avesta
Narodnaya Gazeta reported on 29 January that UNFPA plans to teach state officials the basics of demography and addressing domestic violence. UNFPA in Belarus started the year with a new country programme for 2011-2015. The Fund’s financial aid for the period will amount to $3.7 million, which is equal to the whole former budget of UNFPA in the country (since 1994). According to UNFPA Programme Analyst Tatyana Haplichnik, the programme includes a sound gender component aimed at addressing domestic violence problems, support to the implementation of the national programme on demographic security, and development of the national reproductive health strategy. Read in Russian: Narodnaya Gazeta
Starbroek News reported on 28 January that Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy took international agencies to task for using incorrect data to compile reports on Guyana, while saying that the practice disrespected the country and undermined the efforts of local health workers. Dr. Ramsammy, who cited PAHO/WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF, said he would not accept reports in the future if the organizations do not use the data tabulated locally. In a fiery address at the opening of a two-day caucus on maternal and child health at the Regency Hotel, Dr. Ramsammy said while the organizations have been good partners, they have been “absolutely unfair” to the country. “It is one thing to say to health workers that we have a formula and it is the formula that we would follow, to hell with the data that you have!” an angry sounding Dr. Ramsammy said. Read: Starbroek News
ARMENIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 28 January on the European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and information provided by UNFPA on the situation with the disease in the country. In Armenia, every year about 385 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 202 die from the disease. In our country, cervical cancer ranks as the third most frequent cancer among Armenian women, and in the structure of malignant neoplasm of women’s reproductive system, cervical cancer is in second place, after breast cancer, among women between 15 and 44 years of age. Cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, with about 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year. About 86 per cent of the cases occur in developing countries. Read: A1plus, Armtown.com. Read in Armenian: Aravot Daily, A1plus, Ankakh.com, News.am, Panorama.am, Aysor.am, Asekose.com, Armtown.com
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Multiple media outlets reported on 25-27 January on the Western Balkans regional campaign on Cervical Cancer Prevention supported by UNFPA. Media reported on successful LIVE AID concert of four regional divas and art auction which was part of the campaign. The UNFPA BiH Assistant Representative Faris Hadrovic stated that it is a critical time to raise awareness of the general public about the importance of cervical cancer prevention, since cervical cancer is one of the highest causes of mortality among women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Read in Bosnian: Vijesti, Ezdravlje, Ljiljan, Ljutibosanci, Desavanja, City, EFM Radio, Dnevnik, RTVBiH, Visoko and Studio 88
GEORGIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 25 January that UNFPA hosted a meeting within the framework of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week. The aim of the meeting was to present Pap-test based Cervical Cancer Screening National Guidelines and to discuss future steps forward to increase the accessibility to the screening services in all regions of Georgia. The meeting summed up the results of the cervical cancer screening project implemented by the National Screening Centre, co-funded by Tbilisi Municipality and UNFPA. The participants discussed the plans and the strategies that will contribute to the increase of accessibility to the cervical cancer services in the regions of Georgia. “It has been clearly established that population-based, organized cervical cancer screening programmes can prevent up to 80 percent of cases. In addition, we now have two vaccines that are highly effective in preventing infection with the two most common carcinogenic types of HPV,” said Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs, the First Lady of Georgia, the Chairperson of the National Reproductive Health Council and the President of the European Cervical Cancer Association. The meeting was attended by the First Lady of Georgia, Vice Speakers of the Parliament of Georgia, representatives of the government, experts, representatives of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and international organizations. Read: The Messenger and in Georgian: Interpress News Service, Interpress News Service, Presa.Ge, 1 TV, and Pirweli
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 24 of January that at the Journalist’s Club, a press conference has been held to mark January as a Month of Awareness Raising on Cervical Cancer. The regional UNFPA campaign "My Life is My Story" that started in Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been promoted in the Former Yugoslave Republic of Macedonia. The NGO Borka has thereby announced the National Conference on Fight against Cervical Cancer. In Former Yugoslave Republic of Macedonia, more than 250 women are diagnosed with this disease every year and nearly half of them die. These are the latest statistical data presented during yesterday’s marking of the Month on Fight against Cervical Cancer. “Macedonia, equally to other countries of the former Yugoslavia is no exception to high incidence rates of cervical cancer. The region as a whole records the highest rates of cervical cancer in Europe,'" said UNFPA Representative Deirdre Boyd. Read in Macedonian : Kurur , Forum, SITEL and Tocka
MOLDOVA: IPN reported on 26 January that an information campaign on cervical cancer will be carried out in Moldova during January 23-29. The drive is coordinated by Moldova’s Ministry of Health in partnership with UNFPA. Informative materials about the risks and methods of preventing this disease will be distributed in schools during the week, Info-Prim Neo reports. In a communiqué, the Ministry of Health says the causes of cervical cancer are diverse, but the sexually transmitted diseases are among the main ones, namely HPV. There are around 120 types of HPV. Nineteen of them pose increased risk of infection with cervical cancer. The virus can be prevented by vaccination, especially among girls who have not yet become sexually active. The Ministry of Health now has about 20,000 doses of Gardasil, a vaccine against HPV, for immunizing approximately 6,600 girls aged between 9 and 15. Studies show this vaccine ensures protection in about 70 per cent of the cases of cervical cancer. The vaccine is given free at family health centres.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on 28 January that there is really no need for Malacanang to draft a new responsible parenthood bill for endorsement to Congress as a consolidated bill with identical provisions is now on its third and final reading at the House of Representatives, according to Minority Leader Edcel Lagman. Mr. Lagman, the author of House Bill 96, the main reproductive health measure that is being deliberated at the House with five other allied bills, said this in a letter to President Aquino dated 25 January. Mr. Lagman further said that the World Health Organization and UNFPA have consistently declared that contraceptives like pills, injectables, IUDs and condoms do not cause abortion. Mr. Lagman likewise said that responsible parenthood was limited to family planning whereas reproductive health was more encompassing.
The Daily Star published an op-ed on 28 January by Dr. Ashrafunnessa, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Focal Point, Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening Programme, Bangladesh calling for better awareness and testing to address cervical cancer in the country. The writer noted that UNFPA has funded efforts to expand access to testing. Read: The Daily Star
El Pais reported on January 27 that although there is an outline for increasing women’s attendance in high school and tertiary education in Uruguay, the number of women working in the monetized market is lower than that of men, which is a huge waste of human capital, said Fernando Filgueira the assistant representative of UNFPA in Uruguay. Dr. Filgueira discussed the magnitude of the care crisis and its effects on our country. Read in Spanish: El Pais
El Mercurio reported on 27 January on a provincial forum, called “Women's health in Manabi,” which was developed at the University Extension in Bay Caráquez Eloy Alfaro. The forum was supported by the Provincial Government of Manabi, the municipality of Sucre, the Provincial Health Department, Cantonal Council of Health and UNFPA. Read in Spanish: El Mercurio
Kazpravda reported on 27 January that Republican Consultative Workshop on the integration of issues on gender-based violence (GBV) response into the public health care system of the Republic of Kazakhstan was held on 26 January in Astana. The event was organized by the National Commission for Women Affairs and Family-Demographic Policy and UNFPA’s Country Office for Kazakhstan. The workshop was attended by decision makers such as Vice Minister of Health Care, representatives of the President's Administration, Parliament members, experts of the ministries and departments, as well as NGOs and experts from international organizations and other UN agencies. Today, in the Republic of Kazakhstan, there are more than 20 crisis centres for women and NGOs that focused on GBV. According to workshop participants, in order to effectively respond to incidents of gender-based violence, it is necessary to reinforce a response of health care sector to GBV and to consolidate the efforts of the state and nongovernmental sector. Following the meeting, participants adopted a series of recommendations which indicated the specific measures needed to improve the efficiency of health care system in terms of providing assistance to victims of violence." Read: Kazpravda and in Russian: Kazpravda
Belarusian News reported on 27 January on the country’s continued low fertility rate and population decline. The population decrease has continued since 1994. During the last year 108,000 children were born, which is 1,100 less than in 2009. The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection informs that this is not a surprise. The generation of the demographic recession of the 1990’s has entered reproductive age. UNFPA Programme Analyst Tatyna Haplichnik stressed that there is a notion of generation fertility. It can be evaluated only when a generation of women is out of their reproductive age, after 49. The experts also stressed that the European tendency is that more and more women give birth for the first time after 35 and even 40. Read in Russian: Belarusian News
BelTA reported on 27 January that UNFPA affirmed its plans to continue providing assistance to Belarus to promote gender equality. UNFPA office director Alana Armitage said this during her meeting with Marianna Shchetkina, Labour and Social Security Minister of Belarus, who visited Geneva in her capacity as head of Belarus’ delegation at the 48th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. The parties discussed UNFPA efforts to promote reproductive health and gender equality in Belarus. They spoke about the important role of the Labour and Social Security Ministry in addressing the demographic issues in Belarus. They also discussed the role of UNFPA international expertise during the 2009 population census, the National Demographic Security Program and the implementation of the National Action Plan to Promote Gender Equality. Read: BelTA
Multiple media outlets reported on 27 January that Belarus will take part in the first regular session of the Executive Board of the UNDP/UNFPA in 2011. The session will be held from 31 January to 7 February at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York and will assess the effectiveness of the UNDP and UNFPA in key areas of operational activities of the UN system. The session will be attended by a Belarusian delegation headed by Deputy Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN Zoya Kolontai. Belarus will suggest approaches to optimization of the operational activities of the UN system and concentration of financial resources on the most important ways to ensure the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. Read: BelTA and in Russian: Interfax, REGNUM and watch in Russian: CTV
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): Congo-site and Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 27 January on the appointment of Nigerian Professor Babatunde Osotimehin as new Executive Director of UNFPA. Dr. Osotimehin is the fourth Executive Director and first African ever to lead the organization, which was created in 1967. Read in French: Congo-site and Les Depeches de Brazzaville
The Arizona Republic reported on 26 January on that the trial of a Glendale man accused of running over his daughter and her boyfriend's mother and then escaping overseas to evade authorities began in Phoenix. The article noted that “Faleh Hassan Almaleki Almaleki is accused of running over his daughter and former family friend when he encountered the two at a Peoria Department of Economic Security office. In some tribal societies, it is acceptable to kill a woman who has violated her family's moral code. UNFPA estimates 5,000 women die in ‘honor’ killings each year. The slayings are most common in the Middle East and South Asia but have happened all over the world, experts say.”
Avesta reported on 26 January that UNFPA and the Education Academy of Tajikistan organized a round table with governmental agencies, national and international organizations and specialists to review and update the national programme of the Republic of Tajikistan on Healthy Life Style Education for schoolchildren and the integration of USAID developed textbooks on HLSE to the programme. Read in Russian: Avesta
Al Masry Al Youm reported on 25 January that in Egypt, where no national survey has been conducted on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) other than HIV in over ten years, a stigma regarding the use of protection and contraception methods remains among the younger generations. This stigma, a result of social and religious censure that comes with any sexual act falling outside the bounds of marriage, is damaging to the health of young Egyptians. According to UNFPA, less than one per cent of the population is estimated to be HIV-positive, which means Egypt is a low-HIV-prevalence country. However, with high risk behaviour, such as having sex without protection, the risk of contracting HIV rises to an alarming five percent. Read: Al Masry Al Youm
The Hindu reported on 25 January that Rajasthan Women and Child Development Minister Bina Kak launched the “Sabala Yojana” for the empowerment of out of school adolescent girls through supplementary nutrition and life skills training at anganwadi centres. The scheme will be implemented in Sri Ganganagar, Udaipur, Jaipur, Banswara, Jhalawar, Bikaner, Barmer, Dungarpur, Bhilwara and Jodhpur districts. UNICEF and UNFPA would also assist the state government in the implementation of the scheme. Read: The Hindu
Sahel Quotidien reported on 25 January on a training workshop held on 19-21 January 2010 with traditional chiefs in the region of Niamey on the issues of population, reproductive health, family planning, gender and human rights. The workshop was organized with the financial and technical support of UNFPA and the Canadian Cooperation with the objective of reinforcing the capacities of the Traditional Chiefs in order for them to conduct information and lobbying activities in favor of maternal health. In his opening speech at this workshop, the UNFPA Head of Office, Hassane Ali, congratulated the Association of Traditional Chiefs in Niger for having conducted with efficiency the training of the peer group. Mr. Ali asked the Traditional Chiefs, as guardian of tradition and culture, to invest their savoir-faire in undertaking actions of sensitization so that men will be further involved in the promotion of maternal health in Niger.
The Daily Observer newspaper reported on 25 January that the Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and in collaboration with the Liberia Fistula Project, launched a 30-day nationwide sensitization and awareness campaign of obstetric fistula. The campaign is funded by UNFPA.
RHRealityCheck.org featured a series of blogs on 25 January on obstetric fistula, its causes, the changes needed to eradicate it and the experiences of women living with it. The series was sponsored by UNFPA and other partner organizations. Read: RHRealityCheck.org
Al Watan reported on 24 January on one in a series of MISP (Minimum Initial Service Package) trainings targeting some selected border states in Sudan as part of the referendum contingency planning. The training was held in Kassala, in the eastern region of Sudan. The workshop lasted for five days and was supported by UNFPA in collaboration with UNHCR and the Sudanese Red Crescent. It was inaugurated and addressed by the state minister of health, who commended the role of UNFPA in supporting the capacity-building of service providers to respond to emergencies. The training was attended by 24 service providers representing the Ministry of Health and NGOs.
Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 24 January on the nationally acclaimed and popular mini TV series on gender equality "Les Boulistes,” which is produced by UNFPA. The series’ second season was presented in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso at the Pan-African film festival and at the Rotterdam and Cannes International film festivals. The 12-episode series deals with sensitization and education on key social issues, the series is also at the centre of the Congolese movie making renaissance. UNFPA Representative David Lawson said, "This is an exciting challenge. We hope to reach out to young people and all segments of the population on gender discrimination in their living room every day, while supporting women’s leadership. We are pleased to stimulate new talent in art and movie creation around sustainable development issues." The third season, which centres on youth and civic engagement is in the making. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville
Terra Portal (Brazil) reported on 24 January that at least 264 women are reported to have been raped in the five months after the earthquake in January 2010; more than half of the victims were underage. A survey conducted by UNFPA and the Haitian Ministry of Public Health found that the pregnancy rate in camps for displaced and homeless in the capital, Port au Prince, is three times higher than in ordinary neighborhoods of Haiti's capital. Some could be "children of rape." According to the Brazilian ambassador to Haiti, Igor Kipmanm, sexual violence is "a serious problem” and some cases have a cultural motivation, where young people rape someone in order to be respected as adult males. Read in Portuguese: Terra Portal