BRAZIL: Jornal do Brasil reported on 31 May a story that the world population is expected to reach 7 billion people on 31 October, according to a 2010 review of World Population Prospects, the official population projection produced by the UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) of the UN. UNFPA is planning a series of activities during the year, involving partners and the public in general to highlight the importance of this milestone: on 11 July, World Population Day, UNFPA and several partners will launch a campaign using social media to engage people in the debate on different issues related to a world of 7 billion people, including urbanization, women's empowerment and environmental sustainability. Read in Portuguese: Jornal do Brasil
COSTA RICA: Canal 7 reported on 30 May that elaborates on the theme of the population reaching 7 billion. It is estimated that by 31 October this year there will be 7 billion people on planet Earth. The main question is: What will happen with us at this rate of growth? "This means a great achievement because there is a better life expectancy in many ways, there are better medical services, there are more possibilities for all people to reach an older age,” said UNFPA Representative Patricia Salgado. Watch in Spanish: Canal 7
NIGERIA: Leadership reported on 30 May on the recently concluded World Health Assembly, noting “A fall-out of the health meeting was UNFPA's pledge to tackle and stem the high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria and six other countries across the world. In a meeting with Nigerian delegation, the Executive Director of UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin, disclosed that the countries which also included, Ethiopia, DRC, Tanzania, Mozambique, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were chosen because of their high populations and high level of maternal mortality.”
The Himalayan Times and Republica reported on 27 and 29 May that UNFPA, in association with Women Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC), sponsored a campaign against fistula at the Patan Hospital from 16 -20 May. The campaign was aimed at building awareness, identifying causes, facilitating treatment plus the rehabilitation, reintegration and prevention of fistula. While UNFPA provided training to health workers and doctors on obstetric fistula surgery, Patan Hospital provided facilitating treatment during the camp. Read: The Himalayan Times
The Philippine Inquirer reported on 29 May on a new project, called “midwives-on-motos”, which currently operates in five provinces. Launched by Marie Stopes International, a non-profit reproductive health organization, the programme aims to improve family planning in Cambodia by travelling to where the services are most needed. According to the most recent Cambodian Government survey, a quarter of married women in the impoverished nation have unmet family planning needs. For some women, especially in rural areas, it can be easier to get an abortion than seek out contraception. Abortion rates are high as a result, with 56 per cent of Cambodian women aged 15-49 reporting at least one abortion, official figures show. “Rural and remote areas of Cambodia remain with limited access to reproductive health services,” said Nesim Tumkaya, officer-in-charge of UNFPA in the country. Read: The Philippine Inquirer
Radio Free Asia reported on 29 May that UNFPA is jointly organizing a photo contest to spotlight maternal and child health, given the slow progress in reducing maternal and child death in Cambodia. Pen Sophanara, a member of UNFPA’s Communications and Media staff, noted that Cambodia remains one of the developing countries with high maternal death. “The photo pushes for better attention from every level and that those who are in powerful position can response for better intervention for the maternal and child health,” said Ms. Pen. Listen in Khmer: Radio Free Asia
The Guardian reported on 29 May that Tanzania’s Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) report, unveiled this week, shows the Total Fertility Rate in the country stands at 5.4 children per woman down from the 5.7 children per woman recorded in 2004. It also shows that the disparity between urban and rural areas ranges between 3.9 in the eastern regions and 7.1 in the western zone. Julitta Onabanjo, UNFPA Country Representative, said population data is crucial for policy programmes, being a key aspect in efforts to reduce poverty and accelerate socio-economic development. “The new Tanzania DHS report is compilation of such rich and comprehensive development data that would help demonstrate how investments made over years have impacted and changed the lives of women and men, boys and girls,” she said. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Office of the Chief Government Statistician, Zanzibar made the report public. Read: The Guardian
The Daily News and The Citizen reported on 27 May that the country's maternal and child mortality rates have dropped by over 20 per cent during the last five years. The 2010 Demographic and Health Survey has found out that maternal death had decreased by 22 per cent. Conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics, the survey establishes that the current maternal mortality rate stands at 454 deaths, down from 578 deaths per 100,000 live births. Commenting on the findings, Julitta Onabanjo, UNFPA Country Representative, said, "The report shows we are moving in the right direction, but we must not be satisfied till we reduce and bring to zero all preventable deaths linked to childbirth." Read: The Daily News and The Citizen
Domingo reported on 29 May that 30 professionals of the Ministry of Health working in the area of procurement were being trained with the support of UNFPA, in Maputo, Mozambique. The training was aimed to reinforce their capacity in the procurement of goods and health services. The main facilitators of the training are Karen Rasmussen and Priscilla Eisenstein, from UNFPA´s Procurement Service Branch. “I hope that the training will help participants to enrich their skills in order to better serve the clients of the health sector,” said UNFPA Representative Patricia Guzman at the opening of the course in Maputo. Ms. Guzman was also quoted as saying that the training gains more importance as it takes place while the Ministry of Health is making efforts to improve the availability of medical supplies in the country.
L'Union, Gabon-Matin and RTG1 reported on 27-28 May on the official launch of the Gabonese Campaign to Accelerate the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa, by CARMMA Godmother First Lady Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, in the presence of Health Minister Flavien Nzengui Nzoundou, WHO and UNFPA Representative. Ms. Bongo Ondimba said that it would be necessary for the entire Gabonese society to reduce maternal health, currently at 519 maternal deaths for 100,000 live births. Minister Nzengui Nzounbou reiterated that reducing maternal mortality was a Government priority. Speaking on behalf of Regional Director Bunmi Makinwa, UNRC Nadir Hadj Hammou stated that reducing maternal mortality was a health, economic and political goal with a human right dimension.
MACEDONIA: VEST reported on 28 May on the conclusions and agreed policy actions from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) Regional Conference, Investing in Youth: Path to Accelerated Development, organized and hosted by UNFPA’s EECA Regional Office (EECARO). Among the results of the conference was a recommendation by UNFPA that lessons on sexual and reproductive health should be introduced in the schools in the Republic of Macedonia. Along with Macedonia, this recommendation is also aimed at 27 other countries from Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which are targeted as the only region in the world where the presence of the HIV virus is still on the rise. Furthermore, the UN says that each country should include contraceptives and condoms in the budgets of the national health programmes. Read in Macedonian: VEST
UzReport (Uzbekistan) reported on 25 May on the regional conference, Investing in Youth: A Path to Accelerated Development, which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 9-11 May to accelerate policy actions and national commitments to address young people's rights and needs across the region. "We must provide all young people with the right skills and opportunities and promote their right to health, including sexual and reproductive health," said UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin in his opening address to the conference. "The benefits of these investments go a long way in a person's lifetime, and for generations to come. Investing in young people is the smartest investment that we can make for our collective future." "Investing in the health and rights of young people is an investment in national development and in our future. Too often, the needs of young people for information, education and services are not met," said Thea Fierens, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, at the conclusion of the conference. Read: UzReport
Gaboneco reported on 31 May that Gabon’s high level of maternal mortality was raised during the official launch of the Gabonese Campaign to Accelerate the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa, by CARMMA Godmother First Lady Sylvia Bongo Ondimba on 27 May, in Libreville. Health Minister Flavien Nzengué Nzoundou affirmed that maternal mortality was a top priority for Gabon and that all measures will be put in place to reduce it. The support of the First Lady as CARMMA Champion and with her own Foundation's priorities and means is expected to enhance these efforts. UNRC Nadir Hadj Hammou stated that most maternal could and should be avoided as no woman should die giving birth." Read in French: Gaboneco
RHRealityCheck.org reported on 27 May that a bill has been introduced to defund UNFPA, which will first go to committee and then to a full vote on the House floor, where only a simple majority will be needed to pass the bill. Read: RHRealityCheck.org
Brecha reported on 27 May that a new study by UNFPA shows that education is key in how young people in Uruguay transition to adulthood. The document, which is to be presented on 1 June, analyzes four key events for young people: end of education, first employment, first child and first home independent to the family. Read in Spanish: Brecha
El Nuevo Diario reported on 27 May on a new study finding a 30 per cent increase in teenage pregnancies. Adolescents who become pregnant have a high risk of dying during the period of pregnancy or childbirth. The presentation of this study was made during a forum with the participation of national health institutions, along with PAHO, UNFPA and Profamilia. Read in Spanish: El Nuevo Diario
Multiple media outlets reported on 27 May that the Ministry of Health’s hotline offering advice on sexual and reproductive health celebrated its first anniversary with an event at the Cabinet of Ministers building. During the last year the hotline has received more than 4,000 calls about sexual and reproductive health. UNFPA Argentina participated in the celebration panel together with the Coordinator of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme, Paula Ferro, and the Subsecretary of Community Health, Guillermo González Prieto. “This is a very important tool to achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health of all men, women and adolescents all along the country, congratulations!” said Eleonor Faur, the Liaison Officer of UNFPA Argentina. Read in Spanish: Telam, Tiempo Argentino, Entre rios Digital. Watch in Spanish: Informe Msal and Informe Vision 7
Gia Dinh va Xa Hoi (Family and Society) reported on 27 May on a national workshop on South-South cooperation organized in Ha Noi on 19 May. According to Bruce Campbell, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam, while taking advantage of the demographic bonus, the country should also plan ahead to prepare itself for the ageing of the population and other emerging population trends. “Our progress to achieve the ICPD Programme of Action and the MDGs 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 Mr. Campbell. Read in Vietnamese: Gia dinh va Xa hoi
Zodiak reported on 27 May that while Malawi has no national obstetric fistula prevalence data, the problem remains a major challenge in maternal health as some studies have found numerous such cases in most parts of the country. UNFPA Representative Athanase Nzokirishaka told reporters in Lilongwe that the scenario calls for increased awareness, increased skilled personnel and improved maternal care services. Mr. Nzokirishaka was speaking ahead of the 2011 fistula camp which will be held at Zomba Central Hospital where two specialists have been brought in to attend to fistula patients from various district hospitals. Read: Zodiak
SWAZILAND: The Swazi Observer reported on 27 May that UNFPA’s Swaziland Country Office has kick started the dialogue on the World at 7 Billion Campaign. UNFPA Representative Hassan Mohtashami addressed a meeting of Principal Secretaries that was chaired by the Secretary to Cabinet Mbuso Dlamini and attended by all Principal Secretaries, where he made a presentation on the World at 7 Billion. Read: The Swazi Observer
UNITED STATES: Ms. reported on 23 May that 16 countries, nine of which are from the African continent, pledged their commitments to reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality, as part of the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. The countries, supported by UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank, and WHO, will focus on promoting increased contraceptive use, better access to obstetric care, immunizations, and the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission. Read: Ms.
Diario CoLatino reported on 26 May on “Access to Justice with Dignity,” a project to sensitize the government’s justice sector on issues related to gender and the law, including gender-based violence. The project was co-sponsored by UNFPA, AECID and the Joint Programme on the Reduction of Violence and Construction of Social Capital in El Salvador. Read in Spanish: Diario CoLatino
Aravot published on 26 May the second part of the interview with Theodora Fierens, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The interview focused on issues related to reproductive health, including the high prevalence of abortion in the region. Read in Armenian: Aravot
The Daily Trust reported on 26 May that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's historic visit to Nigeria drew global attention to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the country. The article noted that, on 23 May, Mr. Ban attended the quarterly meeting of the Presidential Committee on the Assessment and Monitoring of the MDGs at the State House. The Committee is chaired by the President and the members are drawn from all the key Ministries and Departments that have responsibility for implementation of the eight MDGs, as well as development partners, including UNFPA. Read: The Daily Trust
Leadership reported on 26 May that Secretary-general of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon has praised the leading role of the TY Danjuma Foundation in supporting the implementation of the Global Strategy for Women and Children's Health in Nigeria. He gave the commendation at a dinner hosted in his honour by the United Nations Foundation in partnership with the TY Danjuma Foundation, the United Nations Global Compact, Friends of the Global Fund Africa, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Other key speakers at the event included UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, and the Minister of Women's Affairs, Mrs. Josephine Anenih - all spoke of the need for more concerted effort among the private sector, civil society, government, foundations and the United Nations in tackling the health challenges of women and children in Nigeria. Read: Leadership
The People’s Daily (China) reported on 27 May on the visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin to Nigeria. The article highlighted their mission of promoting the Global Strategy on Maternal and Child Health. The article noted various activities involved in the visit, including a consultation with numerous state governors. At the meeting, the governors expressed appreciation for UNFPA’s efforts to promote maternal health in the country.
CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE): UNFPA Joins Forces With Faith Based Organizations On Reproductive Health And Gender
DRTV reported on 26 May on a workshop organized by UNFPA and the Congolese Evangelic Church to build the capacity of church leaders to address reproductive health issues and gender equality. In his address to the country's second largest church leadership, UNFPA Representative David Lawson said, “We share common values and principles and have along history of social assistance to the most vulnerable. Through the spiritual and moral values carried out by faith-based organisations, we can together strengthen the response to issues such as maternal mortality, early pregnancy and gender equality." Mr. Lawson indicated he would convene a meeting of leaders of all faiths.
The New Times (Rwanda) reported on 26 May that Africa and other developing countries have been advised to invest more in a skilled public health labour force to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality rates. The call was made by Dr. Laura Laski, UNFPA’s Chief Officer on Sexual and Reproductive Health in an interview with The New Times from New York. "A functioning health system with a well-trained health workforce at the community level where women and children live is required to address MNCH deaths and injuries,” she said. Read: The New Times
ARMENIA: Multiple media outlets reported on 26 May on UNFPA’s "World at 7 Billion" campaign. World population is projected to reach 7 billion on 31 October, according to the 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects, the official United Nations population projections prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. UNFPA is planning a series of activities to engage partners and the general public to underline the significance of this population milestone. Read in Armenian: Armradio
Multiple media outlets reported on 16-25 May on the recent UNFPA Regional conference, "Investing in Young People - the path of accelerated development,” and the recent opening of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office in Istanbul. Several outlets noted that UNFPA announced changes in its relationship with Russia during the conference. UNFPA Regional Director Thea Fierens noted that UNFPA’s work in Russia will concentrate efforts on technical assistance, rather than development programmes. UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said, "For UNFPA Russia is very important and plays a strategic role in our work," and noted that he expects to visit Russia to discuss UNFPA assistance and demographic issues in the coming months. Read: Today’s Zaman. Read in Russian: Regions.RU, InRight, Euromag, Kreml and Interfax-Russia.Ru
Al-Thawrah reported on 25 May on a three-day workshop that brought 30 young people from eight governorates to discuss the media’s perspective on reproductive health issues concerning youth. The workshop was organized by For All Foundation with the support of UNFPA and the cooperation of Save the Children Yemen. Read in Arabic: Al Thawra
Lragir.am reported on 24 May on Parliament Member Viktor Dallakyan's public address on the issue of poverty. He noted that recent UNFPA studies contain evidence that there is widespread poverty in Armenia. Read in Armenian: Lriagir.am
Viet Nam Net and VNA reported on 25 May that many young couples now prefer small families. UNFPA Assistant Representative Tran Thi Van said that the double income one kid trend, which has played out in many developed nations, was now making headway in Viet Nam. Financial burdens and pressures, the result of modern life in big cities, are given as the cause for the move towards having just one child. "Obviously, bringing up a child the best way possible makes young couples exhausted and hesitant to have more kids," she says. Read: Viet Nam Net
Tele-Congo reported on 25 May on a workshop jointly organized by the civil society organization Femmes Vaillantes du Congo and UNFPA to address early pregnancy. In the presence of Martin Itoua, President of the National Network of Congolese NGOs, UNFPA Representative David Lawson stressed the importance of the involvement of civil society organizations to reduce the number of unwanted and early pregnancies, including through family planning, in order to reduce maternal mortality. He said, "Sex must no longer be a taboo. In this world, sex is present everywhere and youth is particularly active. Therefore parents should not fear to discuss reproductive health issues and should provide them information and advice. Watch in French: Tele-Congo
Le Journal de Brazza and Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported on 24 and 25 May on the visit of Communication Minister Bienvenu Okiemy to UN Women Deputy Executive Dreictor, Lakshmi Puri, on the sidelines of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Gender UN Theme Group Chair and UNFPA Representative David Lawson also participated in the meeting. Read in French: Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Le Journal de Brazza
Asia-Plus reported on 24 May on the provisional results of Tajikistan Population and Housing Census conducted in September 2010. UNFPA Tajikistan provided the Agency on Statistics with all required capacity building technical support during the census preparation phase. Since the beginning of 2011, UNFPA Tajikistan has planned and conducted a number of capacity building activities to support the Agency on Statistics with evaluation of methodology, analysis and preparation of dissemination plan for census results. As part of this dissemination plan, the Agency on Statistics has begun the dissemination of the census provisional results. Read in Russian: Asia-Plus