Several media outlets reported on 31 August on the Day of Latin American Midwives celebrations. Data from UNFPA’s State of World's Midwifery 2011 was used to show that 3.6 million deaths could be avoided every year if midwifery services were strengthened. An additional 350,000 midwives are still needed in the world. Uruguay has a long tradition of midwifery and the around 900 professionals who are registered as midwives in the country participate in half of the 47,000 births that take place every year in the country. Cecilia Fernández, Director of the National School of Midwives, insisted in several media interviews on the central role played by midwives in maternal health and stated that some health care providers do not include a midwife on their teams even though it is required by law. Read in Spanish: El Telégrafo, La Diaria and Sociedad Uruguaya
The New Times reported on 31 August on a collaboration between UNFPA and the Ministry of Health to end obstetric fistula. UNFPA Deputy Representative Cheikh Fall was quoted saying, “In Rwanda, the UN Family will continue to support government's efforts to fully integrate services that are permanent for continuous and holistic care of obstetric fistula cases until we entirely bring to an end this preventable and treatable condition.” Read in English: The New Times
Awoko on 31 August reported that the National AIDS Secretariat (NAS) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized a sensitization forum for pregnant women on the use of female condoms at the government hospital in Kenema.
The National Coordinator for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, Sister Hossainatu Kanu, said the female condom plays a major role in preventing the unborn child from contracting HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
The HIV Officer for UNFPA, Ms. Nyaibor Ngombu, explained that the female condom offers dual protection to women against STIs and unwanted pregnancies. She further intimated to her audience that female condoms will increase the woman’s confidence in herself, adding that child spacing is very important for a family as it ensures the wise use of family resources and a healthier family growth.
DailyNews reported on 30 August that the former UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and Miss Universe 1999, Miss Mpule Kwelagobe, advised youth to utilize the newly launched cybercafé at the Mahalapye Adolescent and Environment Park for learning and cultural exchange. Speaking at the launching of the cybercafé, Ms Kwelagobe advised the youth to resist using the internet for mischievous purposes.
Zodiak Broadcasting Station in Malawi reported on 30 August that UNFPA in Malawi joined in the commemoration of the International Youth Day, where young people called for their inclusion in decision making on issues of national importance to allow them contribute to national development.
Athanase Nzokirishaka, UNFPA Malawi Resident Representative, was quoted saying that there are a number of challenges the nation’s youth are facing which need to be addressed. “Early marriages, early child bearing, low illiteracy rates, low education attainment and un-employment are some of the challenges that hinder meaningful participation of the youths in the national development of this country,” said Nzokirishaka.
Nzokirishaka also said among other challenges, many adolescent girls and young women face gender discrimination and violence in the country.
CERIGUA reported on 30 August on a statement by UNFPA representative Leonor Calderon. “In Guatemala, it is urgent to develop public policies for youth, which respond to the human rights of young people and promote the full exercise of their citizenship,” said Leonor Calderon Fund United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Calderón recalled, during the close of International Youth Year, when the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said this year in favor of youth, he did so under the motto "dialogue and mutual understanding. " Read in Spanish: Cerigua
Afrique en Ligne reported on 30 August on an upcoming visit by UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin to visit the Kenyan refugee camps. “During his visit, he will underline to partners, government officials and stakeholders the importance of addressing the urgent needs of pregnant and lactating women, prevention of sexual violence and treatment of its survivors among refugees and host populations” said UNFPA spokesman Abubakar Dungus. Read in English: Afrique en Ligne
Now Lebanon on 30 August published a 6.5-minute video on the 7 Billion Campaign. This video is part of the media-UNFPA Lebanon partnership to increase understanding of the specific challenges implied on Lebanon by a world population of 7 billion. This video comes as the third episode in a series of 5 videos entitled “Extinction of People..!,” and provides an in-depth analysis of the population dynamics and ageing from the global as well as national perspectives. The video makes extensive use of UNFPA statistics and features analytical interviews with 3 renowned national population and ageing experts. Watch in Arabic: Now Lebanon.
DailyNews on 29 August reported that the government is committed to creating an enabling environment for the development and general welfare of youth. Speaking at the official launch of a cybercafé in Mahalapye, Vice President Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe said Parliament has approved the Revised National Youth Policy and Action Plan which emphasises social integration of youth, empowerment and skills improvement as well as creation of opportunities for their personal growth. The Vice President commended the UNFPA country representative, Ms. Aisha Camara-Drammeh for the support her organisation has provided in youth development. For her part, Ms. Camara-Drammeh said UNFPA was delighted to witness the official launch of the cybercafé in an era where information technology is the key to sustainable development. She said UNFPA believes that for young people to survive and blossom into leaders of tomorrow, communities and nations must invest in their health, education and empowerment.
All Africa reported on 29 August on female condoms in Nigeria and why they have are not a widely used form of contraception. The article cited a UNFPA report on female condom use and quotes UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin encouraging investment in the family planning tool, “We have to invest in practical tools that women can use to protect themselves, such as the female condom.” Read in English: All Africa
RCN Radio reported on 29 August on a report by Cristina Plazas, the High Advisor for Gender Equality, who said that teenage pregnancy is a priority to the Government. Plazas mentioned the commitment all political parties signed in the past weeks with the United Nations Population Fund and the president Juan Manuel Santos, which aims to include specific budgets for sexual and reproductive health in the plans of all candidates to be elected in the October elections for mayors and governors. Read in Spanish: RCN Radio
RCN Television reported on 29 August on the young age of some girls when they become pregnant. According to Tania Patriota, UNFPA representative in Colombia, this problem is “related to violence and abuse, and is also associated with the early onset of sexual activity.” Watch in Spanish: Canal RCN
Corresponsales Clave published on 29 August, during part of the Third National Congress of AIDS conducted in San Juan, that one of the great challenges of civil society organizations (CSOs) working on HIV is to communicate with different audiences. This includes both people living with HIV and those not, but also communication with other institutions. Presentations included, "Managing Communications in OSC" where experts gave some clues of how to think of communication in the current scenario. For Victoria Pedrido, communication and press advisor for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Argentina, it is essential to think about communication like a circular pattern in which there is a dialogue which includes the message recipients, and said “many times we develop messages that seem good but the people are not interested in them, so it is necessary to include and to consult the recipients in any way, that´s the key to the success of social networks: the possibility of participation and interaction." Read and view in Spanish: Corresponsales Clave and see video
Al Liwaa and Arab Thought Foundation Research Center reported on 29 August on the issue of youth and urbanization. Entitled “Arabic Villages with No Youth,” the article tackles issues of youth and urbanization from several socio-economic approaches, including youth employment, rural ageing and youth migration. It also compares trends of rural youth exodus in various Arabic countries, including Lebanon. The article relies extensively on UN statistics and mention UNFPA as having produced several reports on the issue. Read in Arabic: Al Liwaa and Arab Thought Foundation
Now Lebanon published an article on 28 August providing a quick overview of some prevalent myths among youth on sexuality and STI. The UNFPA supported Youth Peer Education Network in Lebanon is mentioned as an example of an initiative striving for accurate sexual education, tailored to the specificity and sensitivities of Lebanese youth. The work of the Y-PEER network is also mentioned as a main actor in deterring prevalent erroneous myths related to HIV/AIDS modes of transmission. The website of the Y-PEER is provided as a useful source of information. Read in English: Now Lebanon.
Diario de Cuyo and La Ventana reported on 27 August, during the National Congress of AIDS held in San Juan, that the Clinical Office at the Rawson Hospital, which holds consultations at night (from 8 pm to 12pm), is a model of good practice in the country.
Eight months ago, the Rawson Hospital, in San Juan province, established an office for exclusive attention to issues related to AIDS, dedicated to gays, transvestites and bisexuals. But to the surprise of the authorities, the space also attracts many women who cannot be seen at other times because they are working or embarrassed. Mainly because of this, the San Juan office, part of a programme that is also implemented in 4 other cities, was ranked as the most successful in the country. Sergio Maulen, VIH Advisor from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Argentina, explained that "the clinic not only attends FSW and the participation of women is very important because it works on the prevention. We believe that the case in San Juan is successful because of the National AIDS Program´s work and the support of the NGO.” Read in Spanish: Diario de Cuyo and La ventana (TV Program)
The New York Times (United States) reported on 27 August that a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the headquarters of the United Nations in the Nigerian capital, blasting an enormous hole in the building with a thunderous detonation that left at least 18 dead, witnesses and officials said. As many as 400 people might have been inside during the attack, which happened in Abuja, the first time U.N. offices have been a bombing target in Nigeria. Boko Haram, a shadowy Nigerian Islamist insurgency group with possible links to Al Qaeda's affiliates in the region, claimed responsibility in a telephone call to the B.B.C.'s Hausa-language broadcast service in northern Nigeria. If confirmed, it would signal a leap in the scope of Boko Haram's targets to now include international organizations. U.N. officials said the total number of dead and wounded was likely to rise considerably. Hospitals in Abuja issued a call for blood donors as the police and fire and rescue squads sealed off the area and pulled survivors and bodies from the wreckage of the bomb, which destroyed at least two floors of the seven-story structure. ''We condemn this terrible act, utterly,'' Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary general, said in a statement delivered at U.N. headquarters in New York. Joy Ogwu, Nigeria's ambassador to the United Nations, called for renewed efforts to fight terrorism in her country, saying, ''My government deplores unequivocally this heinous attack, not only on the civilian population, but especially on the U.N. family and the U.N. as an institution.'' President Barack Obama also denounced the bombing and said ''an attack on Nigerian and international public servants demonstrates the bankruptcy of the ideology that led to this heinous action.'' Twenty-six U.N. agencies, including UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA, maintained offices in the building, which is close to the U.S. Embassy and the Nigerian national defense headquarters. Read: The New York Times
Associated Press reported on 27 August on the bombing of the U.N. building in Abuja. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it "an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others." The buildings, known as U.N. House, had offices for about 400 employees working for 26 U.N. humanitarian and development agencies. Authorities were still trying to account for everyone in the building at the time of the blast. "We condemn this terrible act, utterly," Secretary-General Ban told reporters at U.N. headquarters. "We do not yet have precise casualty figures but they are likely to be considerable. A number of people are dead; many more are wounded." The building, located in the same neighborhood as the U.S. embassy and other diplomatic posts in Abuja, houses offices of a number of U.N. agencies including the U.N. Development Programme, UNICEF and the U.N. Population Fund. The attack was the most deadly on the United Nations since 17 U.N. civilian staff members were killed along with dozens of others in two terrorist car bombings that targeted U.N. and other premises in Algiers on Dec. 11, 2007. It came just days after the U.N. marked the eighth anniversary of the Aug. 19, 2003 bombing of U.N. headquarters in Baghdad that killed 15 U.N. staff including top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello and seven others. Read: Associated Press
PANA reported on 27 August that UN operations in Nigeria have been temporarily halted by the bomb attack on the UN building in the capital city of Abuja. The Country Representative of UNFPA, Agathe Lawson, who addressed vividly-shaken members of staff of the international body, told them to go home. 'The more you stay here, the more you become more stressed...This is a difficult situation and I appeal to everyone to go home to reassure his or her family that they are safe,' Dr. Lawson said. She did not say when the staffers are expected back at their desks. Read: PANA
Vanguard (Nigeria) reported on 27 August that but for the inbuilt fire extinguisher mechanism that was put in place at the UN House in Abuja, the entire five-storey building would have gone up in flames and caved in following the impact of the bomb blast carried out by a suicide bomber in an explosive -laden Honda car on 26 August. The article noted that UNFPA Representative Agathe Lawson charged the surviving staff at the United Nations building not to be despaired by the incidents but to the summon courage to work for the world body. She further instructed the heads of the different UN agencies to wait behind for further information and collation of information regarding the staff under them.
The Nation (Nigeria) reported on 27 August that there were strong indications that about 20 people were killed in a suicide bomb explosion at the UN Building in Abuja on 26 August. Also, as at press time, 68 others were injured, although the blast affected 275 people The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), however, officially confirmed five dead and 20 injured as at 4pm. NEMA had not updated its figures as at press time. But the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who admitted that the casualty figures could be “considerable,” has sent the Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, to Nigeria. Many staff of the UN were still trapped in the devastated building. A UNFPA staffer, Kori Habib, who escaped by a whisker, said: “I really thank God for His mercy on us and other staff that survived. I had a close shave. “I and my colleagues had a meeting on the First Floor. But when we got to the Meeting Room, we discovered that one of our staff was not around to be part of the session. “We decided to return to our office on the Fourth Floor since the key staff was not around. Barely a minute into our office and as we were settling down, we heard a deafening explosion, and the roof of the building caved in on us “Some of us managed to escape through the back of the building. Others were not too lucky.” As at press time, mass screening of the UN Building by anti-bomb experts had started following indications that more than 100 staff were still trapped. Also, it was unclear what has become of the fate of some babies in the crèche inside the building. A staff of UN Women added: “I know we have a crèche in the building but I cannot tell you the actual number of babies or children on the roll there.” UNFPA Representative in in Nigeria, Dr. Agathe Lawson, who said it was difficult to ascertain the number of casualties, claimed that the strike was a “painful and difficult experience.” Read: The Nation
The Guardian (UK) reported on 26 August that Nigeria's capital was on high alert after an apparent suicide attack on the United Nations headquarters in Abuja stoked fears that Islamist militants were setting their sights on high-profile targets in Africa's most populous country. "The president believes that the attack is a most despicable assault on the United Nations' objectives of global peace and security, and the sanctity of human life to which Nigeria wholly subscribes," the president's office said in a statement. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who asked his deputy, Asha-Rose Migiro, to go to Nigeria immediately, said: "This was an assault on those who devote their lives to helping others. We condemn this terrible act, utterly." The Islamist group Boko Haram told the BBC in a phone call that it had carried out the attack. If the claim turns out to be genuine, the attack would confirm American fears that al-Qaida-affiliated groups are targeting the important west African state. Witnesses said a car rammed through two separate gates at the UN compound as guards tried to stop it. The suicide bomber drove up to the main reception area before blowing himself up. "I saw scattered bodies," Michael Ofilaje, a Unicef worker at the building, told the Associated Press. "Many people are dead." He said it felt like "the blast came from the basement and shook the building." About 400 UN employees work in the building, grouping several UN agencies, including UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA. The building is located in the same area as foreign embassies, including the British embassy, which is currently under construction. Read: The Guardian
Agpgabon.ga reported on 26 August on the launch by First Lady and CARMMA Champion, Ms. Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, of a capacity building campaign for 280 midwives across the country. The first such training began with 50 midwives and has been designed for comprehensive training and to reduce maternal mortality in Gabon, estimated at 519 deaths for 1,000,000 live births. This campaign is organized by the First Lady's Foundation and supported by UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO.
Several media outlets reported on 26 to 28 August that Plan Ceibal and UNFPA have developed an educational website with information and resources on demography and have launched a seven-week quiz to promote knowledge on population issues. The initiative will take place until the end of October and is targeted to children and young people from 10 to 15 years old. It is part the campaign “7 Billion Actions” and coincides with two events of special relevance for population issues: that the world population will reach 7 billion people in October and a new Census will be carried in Uruguay during September. Ceibal reaches all students of primary public schools in Uruguay since every student receives from Plan Ceibal a laptop for pedagogic purposes. Read more in Spanish: Montevideo.com and El País.
Les Depeches de Brazzaville, la Semaine Africaine and the Journal de Brazzaville published on 26 August an op-ed by UNFPA Representative David Lawson entitled, "All for the Gender Parity Law." In August 2010, thanks to UNFPA advocacy efforts, President Denis Sassou Nguesso announced that a gender parity law would even access to political, administrative and elective policy decision-making positions. Mr. Lawson calls for the adoption of this law and calls on men and women to mobilize themselves for its smooth implementation. He wrote, "Despite progress, the status of women worldwide and in Congo is unfair. Women must not be second-class citizens anymore. President Sassou Nguesso has taken one of the most important political decisions of the country history. UNFPA supports this decision and its implementation. It is only through the courage of men of goodwill that major societal transformation take place in History." Read in French: JournaleDeBrazza.com
La Semaine Africaine reported on 26 August 2011 on the activities organized in Congo on the occasion of World Population Day 2011. Youth Minister Zacharie Kimpouni and UNFPA Representative David Lawson delivered the Government and UNFPA Executive Director’s messages. A Youth Caucus including two hundreds young people, National Youth Council President Franck Noumazalay, Minister Kimpouni and UNFPA Representative allowed for vivid discussions on youth issues and future perspectives. In Congo youth represents 60% of the population and investing in it is key for the country’s economic and social stability. David Lawson made concrete proposals that UNFPA could support. He said, "An employment youth quota, a youth microcredit scheme, a National Volunteer Youth Scheme to have youth directly involved in national development efforts is essential for the future of the country. Particular attention should be paid to the future of girls, including their involvement in policy decision-making."
ABC Digital, Radio Ñanduti and Radio RGS reported on 26 August about the press conference concerning Paraguayan population and migrations in France and Argentina. It was in the context the 4° Congreso Paraguayo de Población, organized by the Asociación Paraguaya de Población (ADEPO), with the support of UNFPA. Read in Spanish: ABC Digital, Radio Ñanduti, Radio RGS
Agence Kampuchea Presse reported on 26 August on a 24 August meeting between Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Keat Chhon of the Minister for Economy and Finance and the new UNFPA Representative to Cambodia Marc Derveeuw. Mr. Derveeuw affirmed UNFPA’s continued collaboration and cooperation with the Cambodian Government and the five-year strategic plan set forth by UNFPA. Read in English: Agence Kampuchea Presse
Many media outlets published on 25 August that the National Consortium on Reproductive and Sexual Rights (CoNDeRS) presented a monitoring of the situation of sexual and reproductive rights in Argentina. The report highlighted the participation of youth and the difficulties of women's access to surgical contraception. Representatives of women's organizations, human rights and youth that are part of the CoNDeRS were responsible for providing details of the investigation that spanned 14 provinces and four municipalities of Buenos Aires. They also featured Paula Ferro, coordinator of the National Sexual Health and Responsible Procreation of the Ministry of Health (PNSSyPR) and Eleonor Faur, Liaison Officer of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Argentina. At the close of the presentation, Eleonor Faur emphazised "that opens the dialogue between civil society and state to identify progress and gaps that prevent universal access to sexual and reproductive health." Read in Spanish: Artemisa Noticias and Telam
DRTV broadcast on 25 August a one-hour exclusive interview by UNFPA Representative David Lawson with a focus on a World at 7 Billion people. This special TV show, led by two renowned journalists, covered a broad range of global and domestic-related issues, including population and economic growth, youth, women and girls, reproductive health, energy, transportation, climate change, environment, education, information technology and the implications of population growth for the world and the Republic of Congo. David Lawson concluded, "the world has managed to survive through infectious diseases, wars, nuclear threat and climate change to reach seven billion people. These threats are still in play...in order for humanity to continue to live in a better world, urgent and immediate measures must be taken now. In this regard, UNFPA salutes President Sassou Nguesso’s global, regional and domestic initiatives on ecosystem preservation."
Bdnews24.com reported on 25 August that the National Midwifery Strategy plan will be completed within a month. The strategic plan will “aim to cut maternal deaths further by doubling the percentage of births guided by skilled attendants.” UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, during his visit to Dhaka earlier in the month, gave his full support to help increase the number of midwives to ensure skilled care during childbirth. Read in English: bdnews24.com
BRAZIL: Folha do Meio Ambiente reported on 22 August that according to UNFPA the Earth will pass the mark of seven billion people on October 31, 2011, a reason to celebrate as it is the result of increasing life expectancy, reduced child mortality, improved basic sanitation and medical developments. Growth is expected to continue throughout the 21st century; according to UN projections, the world population would stabilize around 10.1 billion people by 2100. The challenge is still to define the environmental impact of a population this size; for many scientists, a population of 7 billion is a new technological challenge. Read in Portuguese: Folha do Meio Ambiente
PARAGUAY: Paraguay al Instante and Prensa Indígena reported on 22 and 24 August that in order to promote the campaign "7 Billion People. 7 Billion Actions," UNFPA did a presentation on it to journalists in the city of Encarnación, a distance of 370 kilometers from the capital. The Governor of the Department of Itapúa, Juan Afara, and Carolina Castro Ravera, advocacy and communications adviser for UNFPA made opening remarks. Population and Development Officer for UNFPA, Aldo Natalizia, presented the information. Read in Spanish: Paraguay al Instante, Prensa Indígena
24 Hours and Interpressnews reported on 23-24 August that, with support of the UNFPA Georgia CO and its implementing partners the Caucasus Social Marketing Association (CSMA) and Georgian Youth Development and Education Association (GYDEA), peer educators in Georgia conducted the 5th Information-Education session of the year on HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender at the International Youth Camp “Patriot.”
“The activities at youth summer camps became even more important in 2011 in frames of the International Year of Youth and the 7 Billion Actions Campaign launched by UNFPA; topics of peer education sessions and creative contests are expanded and include youth issues and awareness rising on 7 Billion Actions Campaign in Georgia”, stated Mrs. Tamar Khomasuridze, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Georgia. Read in Georgian: 24saati.ge and Interpress News
FM Bolivia on 23 August reported on the multiple risk factors that threaten the adolescent population of Bolivia, such as sexually transmitted infections, unplanned pregnancies, abortions, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, and drug addiction among others. Health authorities and international agencies gathered to find and implement action policies in order to counteract these problems. The Health Services Unit in coordination with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA/CARE) organized the meeting. Read in Spanish: FM Bolivia
The Standard reported on 23 August that, apart from the new arrivals of refugees from neighboring Somalia, there are newborns, arriving faster each day, threatening to overburden the very basic resources.
Indeed those born the year the camp was set up are hitting marriage age. The life cycle goes unaltered due to little intake of family planning. It is normal to encounter a woman in her early 30s with up to 12 children.
According to Bunmi Makinwa, the director of the United Nations Population Fund Africa Regional Office, "the problem the people face is bigger than just famine and drought". "We are doing all we can on the short term but the world needs to think long-term," said Makinwa while on a tour of Dadaab recently. The long-term solution is for the residents of this refugee camp to urgently take up family planning. That way, it will be easier to plan and give their children a better life, for a smaller family is more manageable than a large one in terms of health provision and healthy meals, among other things.” Read in English: The Standard