Tag Archives: Babatunde Osotimehin

Family Planning Conversations During Women Deliver #WD2013

The second day of the Women Deliver conference was led by robust conversations and discussions about family planning. Wednesday’s events began with the plenary session: Global Progress on Family Planning—Putting Women at the Heart of the Global Health Agenda which was opened by Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Increased momentum has quickly developed worldwide for a global family planning effort to ensure more women have voluntary access to contraceptives since last year’s London Family Planning Summit.

The consensus throughout all of the family planning discussions (you can watch via Livestream) is that several important, systematic steps must first be achieved in order to ensure women and girls have access to adequate reproductive health including:

  • bringing on more financial commitments in order to fund family planning commodities and services to reach an additional 120 million women
  • ensuring that commitments are being honored
  • creating iron-tight distribution channels in order to make sure women in even the most remote areas have access to family planning services, contraceptives
  • engaging men and boys in the process in order to make sure that access to family planning does not become stalled in local areas or even on country or regional bases

During the Plenary Lunch: Developing Countries’ Strategies Towards Reaching the FP2020 Goals – Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Matia Kasaija, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda and Dr. Mojisola Odeku, Director, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative had a robust discussion about their respective countries’ work toward increased access to contraceptives.

ETHIOPIA

I have to agree with Dr. Admasu, Ethiopia’s Health Minister. On a recent trip to Ethiopia I saw adequate supplies and information about contraceptives and family planning at every health post I visited.

Family Planning - Ethiopia

UGANDA

NIGERIA

DATA

  • If you want to know individual country’s family planning coverage and unmet need visit the World Health Organization’s recently released World Health Statistics 2013.
  • If you want to know all of the commitments from the London Summit on Family Planning visit Family Planning 2020.

Photo: UN Photo

Putting an End to Female Genital Mutilation

Today marks the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. Each year February 6th is spent by leading NGOs and international aids organizations spreading awareness about the devastating cutting practice that puts three million girls in both east and west Africa as well as Arab countries at risk of undergoing FGM.

An estimated 101 million girls have undergone FGM in Africa and while there are many communities in Africa that continue the practices many are renouncing FGM. In fact 36% of girls between the ages of 15 – 19 in Africa (concentrated in 29 countries) are at risk of FGM as opposed to 53% of women between the ages of 45 – 49 who have already undergone FGM. The numbers are decreasing according to the UNFPA.

“Senegal is going way out front to tackle FGM,” said Lynne Featherstone, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development and Champion for the elimination of violence against women during a Google+ Hangout today. “It seems to me to be a good example of behavior change. We have an ambition to end FGM in a generation.”

“UNFPA and UNICEF have an institutional approach to ridding the world of FGM,” said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA. “Since 2008 that joint program has seen at least 10 thousand communities in these countries denounce FGM.

Osotimehin also said that 88,000 health providers have been trained so that they can work in health centers and educate traditional communities about the dangers of FGM.

Despite the increased awareness and lowering of FGM rates Osotimehin said, “I think there is a lot more to do. We need to invest more domestically and internationally. We need to work more with governments on the ground. We need to stigmatize FGM. We can achieve it. If we don’t there are 30 million girls who are still at risk for FGM.”

Learn more about female genital mutilation and how you can help at www.endfistula.org.

Photo Credit: United Nations