End Poverty 2015 - UNFPA http://endpoverty2015.org/en/taxonomy/term/136/0 en Despite gains, critical health care failing to reach many mothers and children http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africa/news/despite-gains-critical-health-care-failing-reach-many-mothers-and-children/20/apr/08 <p><span class="caps">CAPE</span> <span class="caps">TOWN</span> – Leading global health experts, policy-makers and parliamentarians convened in Cape Town last week to address the urgent need for accelerated progress to reduce <a href="/goals/maternal-health">maternal</a>, <a href="/goals/child-health">newborn and child deaths</a>, if internationally-agreed targets are to be met.</p> <p>According to the 2008 report <a href="http://www.countdown2015mnch.org/reports">Tracking Progress in Maternal, Newborn &amp; Child Survival</a> released ahead of the event, few of the 68 developing countries that account for 97% of maternal and child deaths worldwide are making adequate progress to provide critical health care needed to save the lives of women, infants and children. Parliamentarians attending the 118th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Cape Town will join global health experts and policy makers to discuss the role they can play in accelerating action to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on reducing child and maternal mortality. </p> <p>Over 10 million women and children still die each year from causes which are largely preventable and treatable. The majority of maternal and child deaths occur in Africa and South Asia, with sub-Saharan Africa increasingly bearing the global burden of mortality. One in five children are born in sub-Saharan Africa, yet some 50% of all child deaths globally occur in the region, as do half of maternal deaths worldwide. In Niger, for example, women face a lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth which is as high as one in seven.</p> <p>Tracking Progress in Maternal, Newborn &amp; Child Survival uses existing data to measure coverage of key interventions and approaches proven to reduce maternal and child mortality. The 2008 report highlights the rapid progress that many of the 68 countries are making in providing vaccinations, vitamin A supplementation coverage and insecticide-treated mosquito nets to prevent major killers such as measles and malaria. </p> <p>Nonetheless, treatment for potentially fatal illnesses and other vital health services still fail to reach the majority of women and children according to the findings. These services are dependent on strong health systems that can provide 24-hour care within the community, at health clinics, and through a functioning referral system when more serious intervention is necessary. Access to these services is most critical at the time of birth and during the first two weeks of life which are riskiest for mother and infant.</p> <p>Tracking Progress in Maternal, Newborn &amp; Child Survival identifies a series of missed opportunities to save lives: </p> <ul> <li>Family planning: The unmet need for contraceptives is high. Only one-third of women in the 68 priority countries are using a modern contraceptive method – a proven means of boosting maternal and infant survival; </li> <li>Skilled care at birth: Only around half of women and newborns benefit from a skilled birth attendant at the time of birth, and even fewer receive care in the critical days and weeks after childbirth; </li> <li>Clinical care for sick children: Only about one-third of children with pneumonia – the biggest single killer of children – receive treatment;</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Nutrition: Undernutrition is the underlying cause of 3.5 million child deaths annually, and as many as 20 per cent of maternal deaths. </li> </ul> <p>Despite these missed opportunities, the report also notes that a number of countries, including China, Haiti, Turkmenistan and several countries in sub-Saharan Africa, have made demonstrable progress in reducing deaths of children under-five in the past three years. Sixteen of the 68 Countdown priority countries are now ‘on track’ to achieve <a href="/goals/child-health">Millennium Development Goal 4</a>. </p> <p>To pave the way for a well-functioning &#8216;continuum of care&#8217;, governments and their partners must address obstacles such as weak health systems, funding shortages, and inequalities in access to care. The report findings show poor families missing out twice, on skilled care at birth and on care for newborns and children when they are ill. Other barriers include armed conflict and a high <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence, which together have erased any gains in child survival in at least 12 African countries. </p> <p>Overall funding from donor governments for maternal, newborn and child health has increased in recent years, with Official Development Assistance (<span class="caps">ODA</span>) rising from US$2.1 billion to almost US$3.5 billion between 2003-2006, a 64 percent increase. This investment has resulted in significant health gains, notably to boost immunization levels and prevent malaria, Nonetheless, health systems for maternal, newborn and child health remain grossly under-funded in relation to the needs of priority countries. Total donor funding for maternal, newborn and child health still represents just 3% of total donor aid disbursements. Most donor assistance is delivered through specific projects and only 5% has been dedicated to general budget support in recipient countries.</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africa/news/despite-gains-critical-health-care-failing-reach-many-mothers-and-children/20/apr/08#comments Africa Maternal Health English UNFPA UNICEF Sun, 20 Apr 2008 12:16:30 +0000 admin 334 at http://endpoverty2015.org Halima Gouroukoye - fistula survivor from Niger http://endpoverty2015.org/en/video/women/halima-niger Halima Gouroukoye is one of the lucky women who was cured of fistula - a preventable and treatable childbearing injury that leaves women incontinent, ashamed and often isolated from their communities. <br/><br/> She is now working in her community and with the UNFPA to build awareness about <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/goals/maternal-health">MDG 5 - maternal health</a>. <br/> <div class="asset-asset-link asset-align-none"><a href="http://endpoverty2015.org/files/admin/IWD_2008/Nigersecond.mov" class="asset">Download Original Video File</a></div>(mov) <br/> <br> <a href="#TB_inline?height=100%&width=100%&inlineId=myOnPageContent" class="thickbox">Show Video.</a><br/><br/><br/> <div id="myOnPageContent" style="display:none"> <br/><br/> <iframe id="dm_jukebox_iframe" style="margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; width: 100%; height: 90%;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" src="http://www.dailymotion.com/widget/jukebox?list%5B%5D=%2Fplaylist%2Fxerj9_mcampaign_water-and-poverty&amp;skin=snow" align="middle" frameborder="0" width="100%"></iframe> </div> <br/><br/> <a href="http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1456296387?keepThis=true&TB_iframe=true" title="International Women's Day" class="thickbox">Iframe Video Player</a> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/video/women/halima-niger#comments Africa Maternal Health fistula Niger UNFPA Mon, 10 Mar 2008 21:44:39 +0000 admin 290 at http://endpoverty2015.org UNFPA Scales Up Efforts to Save Millions of Women http://endpoverty2015.org/en/maternal-health/news/unfpa-scales-efforts-save-millions-women/14/feb/08 <p>Every minute a woman dies due to complications in pregnancy or<br /> childbirth, adding up to half a million women dying every year. Another<br /> 10-15 million women suffer serious or long-lasting illnesses or<br /> disabilities.</p> <p>“No woman should die giving life,” said <a href="http://www.unfpa.org/">UNFPA</a> Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. <br /> “To have a healthy society, you have to have healthy mothers.”</p> <p>In many countries, however, progress in maternal health has been slow.<br /> In some, the situation has actually deteriorated over the last 20 years.<br /> The reason is insufficient political will and inadequate resources, as<br /> women’s health is often pushed off the agenda in favour of other priorities.</p> <p>&#8220;It is critical to invest in women if we are to achieve the <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org">Millennium Development Goals</a><br /> Ms. Obaid. &#8220;We urge countries to dedicate more<br /> resources to improving national health systems, training skilled birth<br /> attendants and promoting family planning. Millions of deaths and<br /> disabilities could be prevented, if every woman had access to<br /> reproductive health services.&#8221;</p> <p>Improving maternal health and reducing maternal deaths are at the heart<br /> of <a href="http://endpoverty2015.org">Millennium Development Goal number 5</a>.</p> <p>The thematic fund, which <a href="http://www.unfpa.org/">UNFPA</a> has established in partnership with governments, United Nations organizations and other international partners, will help countries increase their access and use of quality maternal health services that would reduce maternal deaths and<br /> disabilities. It will also increase the capacity of health systems to<br /> provide a broad range of quality maternal health services, strengthen<br /> mechanisms to reduce health inequities, and empower women to exercise<br /> their right to maternal health.</p> <p>The thematic fund will focus on supporting 75 countries with the<br /> greatest need. The goal is to raise $465 million during 2008-2011</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/maternal-health/news/unfpa-scales-efforts-save-millions-women/14/feb/08#comments Africa Germany Italy Portugal Spain Arab Region Asia Europe Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Maternal Health North America Oceania English maternal health Millennium Development Goals UNFPA Thu, 14 Feb 2008 22:09:24 +0000 262 at http://endpoverty2015.org Revised UN estimates show over 33 million people worldwide living with HIV http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/revised-un-estimates-show-over-33-million-people-worldwide-living-hiv/20/nov/07 <p>A new report released today by two United Nations agencies puts the number of people living with <span class="caps">HIV</span> at about 33.2 million, down from last year’s estimate of 39.5 million, attributing the decrease to more accurate data collection and analysis.</p> <p>The new data show global <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence, or the percentage of people living with <span class="caps">HIV</span>, has levelled off and that the number of new infections has also fallen, thanks in part to global <span class="caps">HIV</span> programmes. In addition to the 33.2 million people estimated to be living with <span class="caps">HIV</span> in 2007, 2.5 million people have become newly infected and 2.1 million people have died of <span class="caps">AIDS</span>.</p> <p>The findings were presented by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span> (<span class="caps">UNAIDS</span>) and the World Health Organization (<span class="caps">WHO</span>) in their report, 2007 <span class="caps">AIDS</span> Epidemic Update.</p> <p>“These improved data present us with a clearer picture of the <span class="caps">AIDS</span> epidemic, one that reveals both challenges and opportunities,” said <span class="caps">UNAIDS</span> Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot.</p> <p>“Unquestionably, we are beginning to see a return on investment – new <span class="caps">HIV</span> infections and mortality are declining and the prevalence of <span class="caps">HIV</span> levelling. But with more than 6,800 new infections and over 5,700 deaths each day due to <span class="caps">AIDS</span> we must expand our efforts in order to significantly reduce the impact of <span class="caps">AIDS</span> worldwide.”</p> <p>The findings also show that <span class="caps">AIDS</span> is among the leading causes of death globally and remains the primary cause of death in Africa.</p> <p>According to the data, there were an estimated 1.7 million new <span class="caps">HIV</span> infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007. While that represents a significant decrease from 2001, the region remains the most severely affected.</p> <p>The report shows that an estimated 22.5 million people living with <span class="caps">HIV</span> – or 68 per cent of the global total – are in sub-Saharan Africa. Eight countries in this region now account for almost one-third of all new <span class="caps">HIV</span> infections and <span class="caps">AIDS</span> deaths globally.</p> <p>The two agencies cite an “intensive reassessment” of the epidemic in India as the primary reason for the reduction in global <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence figures in the past year. The revised estimates for India, combined with important revisions of estimates in five sub-Saharan African countries (Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe) account for 70 per cent of the reduction in <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence as compared to last year.</p> <p>Paul De Lay, Director of Evidence Monitoring and Policy at <span class="caps">UNAIDS</span>, told reporters that the report shows that overall global declines are partly attributed to strong treatment and prevention programmes.</p> <p>“Data from countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand are showing that there are behavioural data that supports this epidemiologic data,” he told a press briefing in New York via video-link from Geneva. “It is encouraging that we’re seeing returns on the investments made in many parts of the world.”</p> <p>The UN Population Fund (<span class="caps">UNFPA</span>) agreed, stating in a press release that the new numbers show that investments in prevention programmes are clearly working.</p> <p>“This new report of <span class="caps">UNAIDS</span> communicates what we have know for many years – namely, prevention works,” said Steve Kraus, Chief UNFPA’s HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span> Branch. “Young people, when provided with accurate and comprehensive information, education and services postpone sexual debut, reduce the number of sex partners, and ensure the use of condoms.”</p> <p>The Fund adds that so far, the new data also suggests that <span class="caps">HIV</span> transmission among young people is declining in nine countries – Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Haiti, Malawi, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These trends, combined with evidence of significant declines in <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevalence among young pregnant women in urban and or rural areas from five countries (Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe) indicate that <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevention efforts are having a significant impact in some of the worst affected countries.</p> <p>“We are seeing a return on investments made in the past several years,” stated Mr. Kraus. “We need to continue these investments, knowing that universal access to sexual and reproductive health allows countries and communities to scale up <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevention services and help make the money work.”</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/revised-un-estimates-show-over-33-million-people-worldwide-living-hiv/20/nov/07#comments Africa Arab Region Asia Europe Latin America &amp; the Caribbean Combat HIV/AIDS HIV/Aids UNAIDS UNFPA WHO Tue, 20 Nov 2007 16:25:31 +0000 admin 144 at http://endpoverty2015.org Women Declare War Against Maternal Mortality http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/women-declare-war-against-maternal-mortality/08/nov/07 <p>World leaders have called for a halt to the needless deaths of 10 million women and girls who die each generation during pregnancy and childbirth, and four million newborn babies who die every year.</p> <p>This was the main resolve of the leaders that included 100 cabinet ministers and UN officials when they met at an anti-maternal mortality conference dubbed &#8220;Women Deliver&#8221; that held in London recently.</p> <p>The meeting that brought together delegates from 75 countries and 1,500 decision-makers was crucial given that it charted more strategies of strengthening the health system and creating the political will to save the lives and improve the health of women, mothers and newborn babies around the world.</p> <p>The main point of focus was the developing countries where little efforts are being made by the leaders to reverse the tragedy of child and maternal mortality.The call was made to world leaders to seek to reverse the nightmare in order not to make complete nonsense of UN Millennium Development Goals numbers four and five that call for a huge reduction of child mortality and the improvement of maternal health.</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/africanews/women-declare-war-against-maternal-mortality/08/nov/07#comments Africa Maternal Health pregnancy UNFPA women deliver Thu, 08 Nov 2007 14:51:39 +0000 admin 137 at http://endpoverty2015.org No Woman Should Die Giving Life, Says UNFPA http://endpoverty2015.org/en/gender-equitynews/no-woman-should-die-giving-life-says-unfpa/24/oct/07 <p><span class="caps">UNITED</span> <span class="caps">NATIONS</span>, Oct 16 (<span class="caps">IPS</span>) &#8211; In this 21st century, when medical science and gender empowerment are rising progressively, &#8220;no woman should die giving life&#8221;, declares Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund (<span class="caps">UNFPA</span>).</p> <p>&#8220;It is unacceptable that one woman dies every minute during pregnancy and childbirth when proven interventions exist,&#8221; she adds. &#8220;Millions of lives are at stake, and we must act now.&#8221;</p> <p>Obaid will be one of the keynote speakers at a major international conference in London that will call for increased investments for health care for women, mothers and newborns.</p> <p>The three-day conference, scheduled to take place Oct.18-20, is expected to have more than 1,500 participants, including health care professionals, high-level delegates and ministers from 35 developing countries and donor nations, advocates of women&#8217;s rights and senior U.N. officials.</p> <p>&#8220;We will press all concerned to take unified action to improve the lives and health of women, mothers and newborn babies all over the world,&#8221; Obaid told <span class="caps">IPS</span>.</p> <p>&#8220;We know what is needed to save women from dying. Three simple interventions: Skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, and family planning,&#8221; she added.</p> <p>Jessica Neuwirth, president of the New York-based women&#8217;s rights group Equality Now, says &#8220;the huge disparity in maternal mortality rates gives the loss of life through childbirth a political dimension.&#8221;</p> <p>These deaths are preventable and the failure of governments to prevent them is a violation of women&#8217;s right to life, the most fundamental human right, she added.</p> <p>&#8220;Governments must be held accountable for their deadly inaction in addressing maternal mortality&#8221;, Neuwirth told <span class="caps">IPS</span>.</p> <p>June Zeitlin, executive director of the New York-based Women&#8217;s Environment and Development Organisation (<span class="caps">WEDO</span>), says the fact that there has been so little progress on maternal mortality is another indication of the gap between rhetoric and reality on gender equality.</p> <p>While governments and the United Nations have made many commitments to address gender equality, including in the U.N.&#8216;s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they have not effectively backed up this commitment with political will or the resources necessary to achieve this goal, she added.</p> <p>&#8220;The fact that so many countries will fail to meet either the goal on poverty reduction or on maternal mortality is a result in part of failing to take into account the need to address gender equality,&#8221; Zeitlin told <span class="caps">IPS</span>.</p> <p>The persistent discrimination and inequalities faced by women are inextricably related to their lack of resources and impede their ability to access health services.</p> <p>&#8220;Reducing maternal mortality and poverty &#8212; in other words, sound development policy &#8212; requires a substantial investment in reducing gender inequality now,&#8221; she declared.</p> <p>The MDGs include a 50 percent reduction in extreme poverty and hunger; universal primary education; promotion of gender equality; reduction of child mortality by two-thirds; cutbacks in maternal mortality by three-quarters; combating the spread of HIV/<span class="caps">AIDS</span>, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and developing a North-South global partnership for development.</p> <p>A summit meeting of 189 world leaders in September 2000 pledged to meet all of these goals by the year 2015. But their implementation has been thwarted primarily by lack of resources and political will.</p> <p>The London conference, titled &#8220;Women Deliver&#8221;, will have as its theme: &#8220;Invest in Women &#8212; It Pays&#8221;.</p> <p>In a statement issued last week, <span class="caps">UNFPA</span> said the world&#8217;s maternal mortality ratio (the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) is declining too slowly to meet one of the eight U.N. Millennium Development Goals (<span class="caps">MDG</span> 5), which aims to improve maternal health and prevent women from dying in pregnancy and childbirth.</p> <p>While an annual decline of 5.5 percent in maternal mortality ratios between 1990 and 2015 is required to achieve <span class="caps">MDG</span> 5, the latest statistics released jointly by the World Health Organisation (<span class="caps">WHO</span>), the U.N. Children&#8217;s Fund, <span class="caps">UNFPA</span> and the World Bank show an annual decline of less than one percent.</p> <p>In 2005, 536,000 women died of maternal causes, compared to 576,000 in 1990. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occurred in developing countries.</p> <p>The probability that a 15-year-old girl will die from a complication related to pregnancy and childbirth during her lifetime is highest in Africa: 1 in 26.</p> <p>In the developed regions, it is one in 7,300. Of all 171 countries and territories for which estimates were made, Niger had the highest estimated lifetime risk of one in seven.</p> <p>Eleven countries accounted for almost 65 percent of global maternal deaths in 2005. India had the largest number (117,000), followed by Nigeria (59,000), the Democratic Republic of Congo (32,000) and Afghanistan (26,000), according to the latest statistics released here.</p> <p>At the midway point in the timeline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, UNFPA&#8217;s Obaid said, &#8220;It is time to accelerate investments in women&#8217;s health and rights. It is time for governments to make reproductive health a priority.&#8221;</p> <p>According to <span class="caps">UNFPA</span>, an additional estimated annual investment of between 5.5 billion dollars and 6.1 billion dollars is required by 2015 from domestic and international sources to meet the target of improving maternal health.</p> <p>Some additional funding will also be needed to meet the target of universal access to reproductive health under <span class="caps">MDG</span> 5.</p> <p>These investments would also reduce child mortality, assist with reducing the malaria burden and mitigate <span class="caps">HIV-AIDS</span> through its effect on <span class="caps">HIV</span> prevention and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies among HIV-positive women, <span class="caps">UNFPA</span> said.</p> <p>(END/2007)</p> http://endpoverty2015.org/en/gender-equitynews/no-woman-should-die-giving-life-says-unfpa/24/oct/07#comments Gender Equity Child Health Maternal Health pregnancy UNFPA Wed, 24 Oct 2007 19:26:46 +0000 admin 121 at http://endpoverty2015.org