The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news
Meeting Contraceptive Needs: Long-Term Associations Of the PRACHAR Project with Married Women’s Awareness and Behavior in Bihar
Notwithstanding India's "rapid" economic growth, higher infant and maternal mortality rates are "robbing" Indian women and girls of their chances to make a contribution, National Commission for Women chief Mamata Sharma said today.
Pathfinder International recognises the importance of engaging with the wider community, including opening dialogues with religious leaders from different faiths as well as Hinduism. Encouraging them to advocate projects in their communities, such as Prachar which focuses on girls' reproductive health and empowerment in Haryana, they have found a shift in negative perceptions and reductions in early marriages and pregnancies.
An outstanding example of overcoming the barriers that adolescents face accessing contraception is Pathfinder International's PRACHAR project. Intended to promote change in reproductive behaviour of adolescents project in Bihar, India, events were held for newly married couples to celebrate their marriage and emphasise the benefits of delaying having children and provided couples with a small supply of oral contraceptive pills and condoms.
Behind the headlines of sexual violence is a culture where girls are forced into marriage and early motherhood. How will India's next generation break the cycle?
The first time Almaz, a teenager living in rural southern Ethiopia, went to the crowded health care clinic in her village to get contraception, she was told they only helped older women with children. The second time, she waited hours only to find out that her preferred method of contraception was out of stock. Almaz is just one example of the many adolescent girls and young women around the world with unmet needs.
Country: Ethiopia, Guinea, India
Focus Area: Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health
Last year, the WHO, in its latest recommendation on managing postpartum hemorrhage, endorsed the use of non-pneumatic anti-shock garments (NASGs) ‘as a temporising measure till appropriate care is available’ and suggested that national guidelines be reviewed to include NASGs as a low-tech first aid for postpartum hemorrhage.
"The health of women, especially pregnant women, is a matter of grave concern. In today's scenario, the health sector has seen so much advancement. More than 200 pregnant women out of 100,000 died during labor pains in (India). Although there has been significant strides in reducing the mother mortality rate, a lot needs to be done in tackling the problem."
MSD for Mothers recently announced the launch of its global initiative to reduce maternal mortality in India. It is partnering with three NGOs to improve the quality of healthcare received by pregnant women in India.
By allying with the Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust, Pathfinder International with World Health Partners and the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood with Gram Vaani, Merck will be able to help nearly 500,000 pregnant women in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
"We are launching the programme in India as part of our global initiative. We would be investing $10 million over the next three years in this initiative," MSD India Manging Director K G Ananthakrishnan told reporters here.
Coordinated efforts by NGOs and the private sector are necessary to take various government schemes to grass roots level and to reduce the maternal mortality rate, National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma said on Tuesday.
“We have made great strides towards Millennium Development Goal 5, but we know there’s more work to do to reach that target,” Mamta Sharma, chairperson, National Commission for Women said speaking at the India launch. “These new partnerships demonstrate innovative ways of working together to address this issue and bring India closer to our goal.”
As part of the Ananya programme, BBC Media Action is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to reduce maternal and infant mortality by 40% in Bihar, India by 2015.
Pathfinder’s work in the state for past nine years has resulted in significant reduction of new HIV infections, said T K Jayarajan. This convention is the first-of-its-kind where specific issues of marginalised communities in accessing their rights for social inclusion and protection is being discussed.