The News reported on 13 October that in response to the government’s call for assistance, UNFPA activated lifesaving humanitarian activities for flood victims. “UNFPA estimates 1.4 million women and girls of childbearing age in the 8 most severely affected districts in Sindh require immediate access to reproductive health services. Of them, over 160,000 pregnant women require lifesaving services in the next 6 months.” Read in English: The News
Tele-Congo, MN TV, DRTV, Canal Benedictions, Radio-Congo and le Journal de Brazza reported on 13 October on a national conference of maternal health personnel, including midwife associations, jointly supported by the Health Ministry and UNFPA.
The conference was geared towards reflecting on the challenges and progress made in maternal health. On the occasion, the Health Ministry unveiled new figures: the maternal health rate in Congo was at 900 for 100,000 live births in the 90s, 1,100 in 2002 after civil unrests, 781 in 2005 (DHS), 740 in 2009 and estimated at 300 in 2011 (in public health centers). On this occasion, UNFPA Representative David Lawson was awarded recognition for UNFPA action in favour of women's health in Congo. Receiving the award on behalf of UNFPA’s Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, Mr. Lawson said, "Too many women die while giving birth. Since my arrival in 2009, maternal health has been our priority and we invested considerable human, technical and financial resources to strengthen the health system and reduce maternal mortality. I am pleased that our efforts contributed to the betterment of women's health." Watch in French: Tele-Congo Read in French: Journal de Brazza
Voice of America (VOA - Portuguese service) reported on 13 October that Mozambique, one of the countries affected by fistula, hosted the 11th International Obstetric Fistula Working Group meeting. Patricia Guzman, UNFPA Representative in Mozambique told VOA that “fistula is a serious social injustice (…) shows that poverty has a strong impact on people’s health, in particular adolescent girls.” In order to improve maternal health in the country, the article says that UNFPA is supporting Mozambique to develop a strategy to tackle obstetric fistula. Dr. Igor Vaz, a surgeon with the Maputo Central Hospital, is mentioned in the story as one of the world’s leading experts in fistula treatment. Listen in Portuguese: Voice of America