The Nation reported on 30 September that UNFPA in Malawi, through the Health Donor Group, advised the Government of Malawi to come up with financing systems on top of revamping the country’s Central Medical Store.
While speaking at the opening of the joint annual review of the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp), UNFPA Representative Athanase Nzokirishaka, who is also the chairperson of the Health Donor Group, blamed the current shortage of drugs in Malawi’s public health sector on theft, corruption and inefficiency in the national drug supply.
Nzokirishaka encouraged the country’s Central Medical Store to establish a viable financial model for the future as well as identify short-term capital and address past debts.
“The donor community has intervened consistently on behalf of Malawian citizens over the past two years by procuring and distributing HIV, family planning, child health, and malaria commodities directly to facilities, directly compensating for weak state of the CMS system.
He said Malawi also needs to demonstrate that it can fully remove the inefficiency, leakage and corruption at all levels of the system.
“Health donors intervened again when theft of drugs from Central Medical Stores threatened the lives of Malawians, and created a parallel distribution system to ensure that donor-procured drugs reached those most in need,” said Nzokirishaka. Read in English: The Nation
The Daily Times reported on 30 September that UNFPA in Malawi, through the Health Donor Group, bemoaned the ineffectiveness of the country’s Health Service Commission in employing and confirming new health cadres into the service and urged the Ministry of Health to lobby for an alternative mechanism which could handle human resource issues which the Commission could not handle.
Commenting on the progress of the 2004-2011 Health Sector Strategic Plan, chairperson of the Health Donor Group Athanase Nzokirishaka said human resource shortages were no longer considered an emergency compared to 2004. He said there was a reduction in health personnel patient ratio but it was still below the World Health Organisation’s recommended ratio.
“However, we are yet to see how the increase in staff levels has contributed to service provision. There is still more that needs to be done by increasing investments in human resource,” he said. Nzokirishaka also urged various stakeholders in the health sector to collect reliable data and stick to timelines under the health sector strategic plan to avoid delays in implementation and disbursement of funds. Read in English: Daily Times
Uypress reported on 30 September that the contest “CreaFuturos.” organized by Ocus Media and Montevideo Cómic, with UNFPA support, invites illustrators and comic creators to propose solution for humankind’s challenges. The initiative is part of the Campaign “7 Billion Actions.” Read more in Spanish: Uypress
The Times of India reported on 30 September that "United Nations Population Fund country representative Frederika Meijer on Thursday called on CM Nitish Kumar and discussed issues related to health, family welfare, population, human resources, disaster management, planning and development." She also promised UNFPA would help in the establishment of training schools for overall health sector improvement.
Pakistan Today on 29 September reported on the start of the Asian Youth Peace Conference and Festival. "UNFPA Youth Officer Sadia Ata Mahmood said youth was the most desirable segment of the society to bring about a real change in economic, social and academic conditions of the society" and encouraged the participants to enthusiastically play a role in bringing about change in the world. Read in English: Pakistan Today
The Daily Mail on 29 September cited singer Natalie Imbruglia as a spokeswoman for the UNFPA's fistula campaign. Read in English: Daily Mail
The Daily Monitor published an op-ed on 29 September on maternal mortality which cited UNFPA data. Read in English: Daily Monitor
Diario del Sur, El Satélite Journal, and Radio Sucre reported on 29 September on the Migration and Health Project fair. The project has been carried out since 2007 in the municipalities in the bi-national border area by the governments of Colombia and Ecuador. The bi-national fair was organized by the Ministry of Social Protection of Colombia, the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador, the Foreign Ministries of both countries, the Institute of Health of Nariño, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), as part of the interagency cooperation process that has being carried out in the border area between Ecuador and Colombia. NGO´s for women and young people from the municipalities of Sucumbíos, Esmeraldas and Carchi (Ecuador) and the municipalities of Ipiales, Tumaco, Cuaspud-Carlosama, Cumbal and Ricaurte (Colombia) shared their experiences in promoting sexual and reproductive rights, including the prevention of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence. Read in Spanish: Diario del Sur, El Satélite Journal, and Radio Sucre
Viet Nam News reported on 28 September on the lack of sexual health knowledge among Viet Nam's migrant workers. "Mandeep Janeja, deputy director of the United Nations Population Fund in Viet Nam, noted that young women comprise a large group of migrant workers, making them more vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other infectious diseases." Read in English: Viet Nam News
Althawrah and Althawra net reported on 28 September that according to UNFPA the world’s population will reach 7 billion on 31 October and this event highlights a number of challenges for earth’s inhabitants. The report has also referred to UNFPA’s 7 billion campaign that was launched on the World Population Day in July this year. Read in Arabic: Althawra net
ALthawrah and Althawra net reported on 28 September on the importance of investment in young people as a crucial step to prevent the population explosion. The newspaper referred to the UNFPA’s 2010 report which indicates that the world’s population will soon hit 7 billion, a third of which will be youth and close to 90 per cent of this youth are in the developing world. Read in Arabic: Althawra net
L'Union and Gabon-Matin reported on 28 September on a training for French-speaking journalists from Central and Western Africa, organized by UNFPA in Dakar, Senegal, from 19-23 September. This capacity building workshop gathered media professionals with a view to provide them expertise in family planning, reproductive health issues, obstetric fistula, maternal health, etc. Opening the workshop, Africa Regional Director Bunmi Makinwa said, "media networks have a major responsibility in providing vital information to mass populations. They therefore are not only observers but key actors of behavioural change necessary to protect themselves against HIV, early pregnancy and gender-based violence."
Al Rai and Al-Arab Al-Yawm newspapers reported on 28 September that as part of International Youth Year celebrations, the United Nations in Jordan represented by the U.N. Communication Group (UNCG), organized a writing contest for youth participating in the Healthy Lifestyle Camps, an initiative run by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Higher Council for Youth in Jordan.
The competition was launched in August 2011, by the UNCG and through the Higher Council for Youth. All contributions were evaluated by communications officers from the UNCG and Ms. Inas Swaiss a local journalist, and the best three articles were decided: Mujahed Abdel Rahman Obeid / Youth of Jerash Center (first place); Ala’a Nasser Al Zoubi/ Youth of Jerash Center - for females (second place); and Amer Jamil Ahmad Kassassbeh/ Youth of Irbid Center (third place).
On 27 September, an award ceremony was held at the United Nations Building in Amman, where Mr. Luc Stevens, the United Nations resident coordinator in Jordan and Dr. Anna Paolini, chair of the UNCG, presented the top three winners with certificates and awards for their excellent work. The event was attended by representatives and project managers from the Higher Council for Youth, the three young winners and their families, the media, members of the UNCG, and a number of UN organizations staff members. Read in Arabic: Al Rai and Al-Arab Al-Yawm
DevSur reported on 28 September that “thirty persons working in the areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and HIV from government and non –governmental organizations across the region will participate in the three day a capacity building workshop the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is hosting in Suriname from September 28 to 30 at the Kranapolsky Hotel. They will focus on reproductive health and wellbeing; safe motherhood; contraceptive science and technology, and SRH and HIV linkages, a press release from the UNFPA says.” Read in English: DevSur
Ghana Web reported on 27 September on the launch of the first ever Family Planning Awareness Week. At the opening ceremony, Dr. Frank Nyonator, Acting Director-General of Ghana Health Service said to improve maternal health and attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), family planning (FP) would remain a priority on the national development plan.
"Dr Bernard Coquelin, UNFPA Country Representative, said contraceptives if well utilized could reduce maternal mortality by one-third but there was the evidence that Ghana's contraceptive prevalence rate had declined from= 19 per cent in 2003 to 17 per cent in 2008 while the unmet need for FP was 34 per cent."
Republica reported on 27 September on a debate titled, "Investing in Youth: Are We Doing Enough?" Participants discuessed the status of youth in the country as well as the need for proper sexual reproductive health education. The programme was jointly organized and supported by the Association of Youth Organization and UNFPA. Read in English: Republica
Les Depeches de Brazzaville, Congo-site, DRTV and Tele-Congo reported on 27 September on the launch of an analysis by the Education Ministry and UNFPA on gender discrimination in primary and secondary level books. Women' s Affairs Minister Madeleine Boupoto Yila reaffirmed the need to fight gender discrimination at school but also at home. UNFPA Representative David Lawson congratulated the government on its active action to fight gender discrimination from an early age and said, "the gender parity law should provide societal leverage to ban gender stereotypes from the minds of children. Education is key to reach this goal." Read in French: Congo-site, Les Depeches de Brazzaville and Daily Motion
Gabon-Matin and l'Union reported on 26-27 September on the launch by Health Minister Flavien Nzengui Nzoundou of the fistula campaign, including training of health personnel involved in fistula surgery. Some 90 fistula cases have already been identified, including over 20 in Libreville. Women affected by fistula will be treated in Libreville, with a view of eradicating it nationwide. UNFPA is providing technical and financial support to the government in this effort.
La Jornada, Milenio, Reforma, OnceTV, NSS Oaxaca, Noticias net and Diario Oaxaca reported on 27 September on a press conference organized on the occasion of the national day for prevention of unwanted pregnancy in adolescents, which is an initiative from governmental organizations and NGO’s together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the National Population Council (CONAPO). The initiative is aimed at strengthening national strategies and programmes in order to enhance prevention campaigns, sex education and promote access to sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents.
During the press conference, Dr. Javier Dominguez, national programme officer pointed out that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) called for an increase in efforts to prevent unplanned pregnancies among adolescents through strengthening mechanisms for inter-sectoral coordination to strengthen sex education and increase the access of sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents. Read in Spanish: La Jornada, Milenio, Reforma, Once TV, NSS Oaxaca, Noticias net, Diario Oaxaca
Pakistan Today reported on 27 September on a national seminar held for World Contraception Day aimed at “spreading awareness among young people about their rights to access to correct and impartial information about contraception in order to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs).” The seminar was organized by the Planning and Development Division (P&DD) Pakistan in collaboration with the USAID and UNFPA. Read in English: Pakistan Today
Inter Press Service reported on 27 September on the occurrence of fistula in the country. There are 12,000 recorded cases of fistula per year. "A quarter of the national total is recorded in the province of Maniema alone, in the east of the DRC," says Jules Mulimbi Kaboyi, who directs the United Nations Fund for Population office in the Congolese capital. UNFPA works to provide support and treatment women suffering from fistulas. Read in English: Inter Press Service
Dominican Today reported on 26 September that, "United Nations Population Fund (UNFP) revealed Monday that Dominican Republic is the country with the most pregnant adolescents of all of Latin America and the Caribbean." Read in English: Dominican Today
Le Pari Africain published on 26 September an exclusive interview with UNFPA Representative David Lawson on gender parity in Africa and how the Republic of Congo scores on the continent. Mr. Lawson stresses that the decision by President Denis Sassou Nguesso to have a gender parity law adopted was one of the most important political decisions in the country’s history. The UNFPA representative said, "Slavery and colonization have been defeated, it is intolerable that women remain second class citizens. Thanks to this law, gender discrimination will also be defeated."
Itapoan On Line and Bahia reported on 26 September that 50 community leaders of the island of Maré, located near the capital city of Salvador, State of Bahia, will have the opportunity to participate in two workshops, on sexual and reproductive rights and on promotion of maternal health. The workshops are an initiative of the Racial Equality Promotion Office (Aspers) of the Municipal Health Service (SMS) of Salvador, in conjunction with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Both activities aim to raise awareness on these issues and guide participants to become local multipliers of such an agenda. According to Silvia Augustus, social worker and coordinator of the Aspers, the island was chosen because of the local black population and its health issues. The workshops offer the possibility of strengthening the dialogue between health officials, midwives and the traditional local knowledge. Read in Portuguese: Itapoan On Line
IRIN reported on 26 September that attitudes on family planning are beginning to change. "One reason for contraceptive take-up is the high cost of living, particularly in the capital," said Soda Diagne, 32, a Dakar businesswoman who is married without children. “People are realizing they can’t feed and educate five children at today’s prices.” The price of imported rice - a staple in Senegal - rose sharply in 2007 and 2008 and then again in 2010. While the average fertility rate across the country is five children per woman, in Dakar it is 3.9, according to NGO Marie Stopes International (MSI). But the behaviour shift is also due to a push by the government to encourage family planning in state-run hospitals and clinics as part of its maternal mortality reduction strategy, said the UN Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Senegal joint director, Edwige Adekambi." Read in English: IRIN
The New York Times on 27 September published a piece on the safe birth kits, usually containing soap, a plastic sheet, a razor blade to cut the umbilical cord, tape, gloves, a towel to wrap the baby in and a pictorial instruction sheet, distributed by the UNFPA and numbers aid organizations. “Since 2006, the Population Fund has distributed more than 800,000 birth kits in countries like Mozambique, India, Yemen, Liberia and Sierra Leone.” Read in English: The New York Times
DNA reported on 25 September that 55,053 female foetus pregnancies are terminated after sex selection tests. The numbers were disclosed by Anuju Gulati, the state coordinator for the UNFPA, at a seminar organized by the PM Shah Foundation and Lek Ladki Abhiyaan. Read in English: DNA
Página 12 published on 25 September an article about a pilot programme serving the sexually diverse currently only established in five parts of the country: Mar del Plata, Rosario, San Juan, Salta and Buenos Aires province. These clinics were initially supported by PAHO/WHO, ONUSIDA and UNFPA, but have proven so successful that national authorities and local activists believe the programme will expand. Between 2009 and 2010, the National Direction of AIDS with the support of the United Nations agencies published a report about the access of gay, transgender bisexual (GTB), people to sexual and reproductive health services. The report, entitled “Terms of vulnerability to HIV-AIDS and STIs and problems of access to health care gay, bisexual and trans in Argentina," led to the project to improve access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and STIs in gay people, transgender and bisexual sex workers. Read in Spanish: Página 12
The Sudan Tribune reported on 25 September on a speech by South Sudan’s Minister of Health, Dr. Michael Milli Hussein, at a meeting with UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, asking for assistance to improve health services in his country. "I take this opportunity to appeal to the international community, related United Nations agencies, donors, development partners, INGOS, philanthropic organizations and individuals to support us in our endeavour to promote the health of the people of the Republic of South Sudan and make it a better and safe place to live," he said. Read in English: The Sudan Tribune
The Star reported on 25 September on UNFPA predicting an October date for the birth of Earth’s seven billionth inhabitant. The piece stressed empowering women to defuse the population bomb. “When we’re looking at solutions to population growth, we should start at the level of individual women,” says Guttmacher Institute Vice President of Government Affairs Susan Cohen, adding that reproductive choice has ripple effects that improve the economic outlook not just for families and communities, but also for nations. “It would end up leading to a much slower rate of population growth to the point that population would actually stabilize by the middle of the century based on the demographic models that are out there,” she said. Read in English: The Star