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A Measure of Commitment: Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health Risk Index for Sub-Saharan Africa

September 2, 2009

In 2008 the number of African women who died from pregnancy and child birth was much higher than the number of casualties from all the major conflicts in Africa combined. Maternal mortality continues to be the major cause of death among women of reproductive age (15-49) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Most of these women die from complications that can often be effectively treated in a health system that has adequate skilled personnel, a functioning referral system and can respond to obstetric emergencies when they occur. This report looks at the performance of Sub-Saharan African countries in meeting reproductive health targets in 47 countries and ranks them using a set of ten indicators in order of the highest to lowest risk. It highlights the need to increase the level of investment in reproductive health, step up policy reform and implementation, expand access to services in rural areas, strengthen health systems, promote the realization of rights and abolish retrogressive cultural practices that perpetuate gender inequities and put the lives of women and girls at risk.

Population and Reproductive Health in National Adaptation Programs of Action

August 28, 2009

This paper reviews 41 National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) submitted by Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and identifies the range of interventions included in countries' priority adaptation actions. The review found near-universal recognition among the NAPAs of the importance of population considerations as a central pillar in climate change adaptation.

A Practical Guide to Integrating Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS into Grant Proposals to the Global Fund

August 28, 2009

Integrating RH and HIV can greatly contribute to mitigating the AIDS pandemic by reducing unintended pregnancy; preventing perinatal transmission; expanding to more target groups; reducing gender based violence; meeting the needs of people living with HIV and providing our youth with the knowledge and services they need. Whether to integrate, how to integrate and exactly what to integrate will depend on a country's epidemiological profile, policies and program structures.Experience with implementation of integration initiatives in countries around the world shows that scale up and sustainability requires attention to policy and program operations issues. This document, with links to a range of resources, will help CCMs, civil society organizations and others developing proposals for the Global Fund that contribute to preventing HIV and mitigating the effects of the AIDS pandemic through programs that link and integrate RH and HIV/AIDS.

Reproductive Health Supplies in Six Countries: Themes and Entry Points in Policies, Systems and Funding in Bangladesh, Ghana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Uganda.

June 3, 2009

Reproductive Health Supplies in Six Countries: Themes and Entry Points in Policies, Systems and Funding, identifies the challenges faced by reproductive health programs in Bangladesh, Ghana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Uganda. Funding constraints, combined with a weak commitment to prioritize the purchase of reproductive health supplies on the side of the recipient countries and a limited capacity for distribution, have created an unstable environment for supplies worldwide. The report, and its six associated case studies, calls for renewed attention to reproductive health supplies to avoid putting the health of millions of women at risk.

Re-Costing Cairo: Revised Estimate of the Resource Requirements to Achieve the ICPD Goals

March 3, 2009

Achieving universal access to reproductive health, including family planning services and supplies, is essential to ensuring the health and well-being of women and their families. Poor reproductive health is the leading cause of death and disability among women in their childbearing years. An estimated 201 million women in developing countries want to delay or stop childbearing, but lack effective contraceptives. Satisfying their unmet need for family planning would avert 52 million unintended pregnancies each year, saving more than 1.5 million lives and preventing 505,000 children from losing their mothers.In 2005 the World Summit -- a follow-up to the meetings that launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- reaffirmed the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights by addingTarget 5.B.: Achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015 as part of MDG 5: Improving Maternal Health. Contraceptive prevalence rate and unmet need for family planning are indicators for monitoring progress towards this target.

"Bushmeat" and the Origin of HIV/AIDS: A Case Study of Biodiversity, Population Pressures, and Human Health

February 1, 2002

The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, Population Action International, the Jane Goodall Institute, and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute co-hosted a Congressional briefing, entitled "Bushmeat and the Origin of HIV/AIDS: A Case Study of Biodiversity, Population Pressures and Human Health." The AIDS epidemic is a global problem with challenging social implications and no easy solutions. In the United States and around the world, citizen groups and governments are rallying to help scientists find a cure for HIV/AIDS and encouraging widespread education about the disease. To date, over 60 million people have been infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), approximately five million more become infected each year, and over 20 million have died from the disease. In their quest to understand more about this deadly disease, researchers have sought to understand where it came from, and how humans contracted it. What they have discovered is that many answers about HIV and even the potential cure will most likely come from the same place as the original source of the disease -- from chimpanzees and a monkey called the sooty mangabey in the West Central African forests. Unfortunately, it is also becoming frighteningly clear that human actions and population pressures are destroying these forests and the species that inhabit them at alarming rates, which may have significant implications for human health.