The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news
Pathfinder by the Numbers in 2012: Over 5.6 Million Visits for Contraceptive Services, Nearly 3 Million Visits for Antenatal and Postpartum Care
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.
The moment of awakening for Kumar came during a training programme by an international NGO on reproductive health and family planning. In 2001, Pathfinder initiated a project in Bihar on changing the reproductive behaviour of 650,000 people. Under the first (2001-04) and second phases (2005-08) of project PRACHAR (Promoting Change in Reproductive Behavior in Bihar), 30 local NGOs were trained to develop programmes to educate the youth in five districts, including Nalanda, Nawada, Patna, Gaya and Sheikhpura. Street plays and adolescent training programmes were held to increase mass appeal. During the wedding season, NGOs would visit couples before and after marriage to educate them on contraceptive use and spacing between children.
“With our help, the women decided to get together and address their issues collectively. Hence, we held elections in June 2011 and a core committee of 12 FSWs got elected. The task before them was not just related to their business like ensuring no minors in brothels or propagating condom usage but taking up issues beyond their profession," said Dr Khursid Bhalla from Pathfinder International.
Representatives from charities in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka gathered in New Delhi last week at the regional launch of the "Girls Not Brides" alliance created by Tutu, 80, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for speaking out against white minority rule in South Africa.
"Government ownership is critical [for improving reproductive health]," says Dan Pellegrom, President of Pathfinder International, which has worked in the country since 1964." And Ethiopia's government took ownership." That ownership took the form of renewed commitment to women and girls, and creative collaborations with aid agencies to make long-acting contraceptive methods in particular more available. (Injectable contraceptives are by far the most popular method countrywide).
Darshana Vyas, project director, Pathfinder International, said, "The convention was held at Panhala (Kolhapur district) and was an attempt to re-energise the MSM community, strengthen community feeling and leverage greater leadership and involvement in project governance and implementation."
"It reduces blood loss by 50 percent and has decreased maternal mortality and morbidity by 40-60 percent in studies in Egypt and Nigeria," says Suellen Miller, RN, Ph.D., director of the Safe Motherhood Program at the University of California at San Francisco, who helped develop the project with Pathfinder and has led trials of the LifeWrap. "Women are able to be stabilized and travel long distances in the garment to large hospitals where they can receive care."
The initial results of this pilot are promising. In one year, community educators reached 29,000 people, leading to an 18 percent jump in awareness in the benefits of delaying marriage. The program was instrumental in preventing 53 girl-child marriages.
The clinics targeted all the rural areas and villages of the six governorates where the project works. We were able to deliver basic health services to areas that had never had access to governmental or organizations' health services working in the area .
"We have learned about the three food groups—protein, fats, and carbohydrates—and how to mix them properly, something we didn't know how to do before," Nizigiyimana said. "By doing this, our children have gained weight, have much better appetites, and are happier overall."