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Turning gender and HIV commitments into action for results: an update on United Nations interagency activities on women, girls, gender equality and HIV.
[Geneva, Switzerland], UNAIDS, 2009 Dec. 4 p.In September 2000, 189 UN Member States committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Among these goals is a commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women and combating HIV, malaria, and other diseases. Today, almost 10 years on, addressing gender inequality and AIDS remains the most significant challenge to achieving the MDGs, as well as broader health, human rights, and development goals. This update highlights key 2009 interagency initiatives, all of which operate at the intersection of gender equality, women's empowerment, and HIV.
Entre Nous. 2009; (68):24-25.Romania is a very special case when it comes to reproductive health in the modern world. After 30 years of a prohibitive society that denied couples and women the right to family planning, as a result of the political changes in December 1989 women in Romania have regained the fundamental right to freely decide the number of desired children, as well as the timing and spacing of births. Decree Law No. 1/ 1989, which promoted total abortion liberalization was the first resolution passed after the political changes in 1989 and it can be considered the symbolic foundation of family planning (FP) in Romania.
Essential medicines for mothers and children: a key element of health systems. Access to medicines and public pharmaceutical policy.
Entre Nous. 2009; (68):14-15.Medicines, when used appropriately, are one of the most cost effective interventions in health care. European countries spend an important part of their health budget on medicines, from 12% on average for the EU countries to more than 30% for the Newly Independent States (NIS) countries. Whereas in EU countries the larger part of the medicines expenditures are publicly funded through taxes and/or social health insurance, in the NIS and in the south eastern European countries it is often the patients who have to pay directly for the drugs themselves. This means that many patients simply do not get the drugs they need because they cannot afford them, and also may force families to incur enormous expenses as they sell their belongings in order to pay for their drugs and their health care.
Entre Nous. 2009; (68):8-9.The availability of effective sexual and reproductive health services (SRHS) has major implications on health in the European context. Low natural growth, epidemiological challenges generated often by sexually transmitted infections, increasing cross-border movement and inequalities in quality standards and safety requirements in health services all impact the SRH of populations in the Region. Integration of health system functions is critical to efficiently address the evolving issue of SRH at national level, and to ponder system’s capacity for delivery with the fluctuating clinical demand and public expectations. In the national context, the main challenge lies in the interventions of choice and in the degree to which these are prioritized, linked and disseminated, in terms of value, resources and policies.
Entre Nous. 2009; (68):6-7.The WHO Regional Office for Europe has been promoting family and community health (FCH) interventions since 1992, including biennial meetings for FCH focal points in Member States. Our FCH activities follow a holistic approach, focusing on the health and development of individuals and families across the life course. For sexual and reproductive health (SRH) this means focusing on overall SRH, health of mothers and newborns, children and adolescents, as well as healthy aging. In recent years, the contribution of health systems to improve health has been re-evaluated in many countries. The WHO European Ministerial Conference on Health Systems “Health Systems, Health and Wealth” in Tallinn, June 2008 has discussed the impact of people’s health and economic growth, and has taken stock of recent evidence on effective strategies to improve the performance of health systems. In line with these developments, the WHO Regional Office for Europe held the FCH focal points meeting in Malta, September 2008 with the aim of contributing to the improvement of FCH in a health systems framework.
Entre Nous. 2009; (68):4-5.The WHO European Ministerial Conference on “Health Systems, Health and Wealth” held in Tallinn in June 2008 was a watershed event that took stock of and consolidated the recent conceptual and methodological developments, as well as, practice-based innovations in the European health arena. The upshot of the conference was that not only does health matter - we knew that already because we in Europe value health in its own right - but also good health contributes to wealth generation. The conference also argued that health systems contribute to the generation of wealth, since in almost any society, albeit at varying degrees, the health sector constitutes one of the major spheres of economic activities, producing, consuming and trading goods and services, and contributing to knowledge and technology generation through research and development.
A guide for developing national policies on young people’s sexual andreproductive health and rights.
Entre Nous. 2009; 69:8-9.IPPF European Network (IPPF EN) has been a lead advocate for young people's sexual health and rights (SRHR) over the years and its Member Associations have piloted initiatives to provide sexuality education, information and services and promote a right based approach towards the SRHR of young people. IPPF EN and like-minded organizations consider that sustainable gains in ensuring young people's SRHR can only be obtained if there is a solid framework of sound and comprehensive policies. Therefore building on evidence, research and our expertise we developed, together with WHO, a set of tools to assist policy and decision makers in providing such a framework.
Investing in young people: UNFPA’s commitment to advancing the rightsof adolescents and youth in the eastern Europe and central Asia (EECA)Region.
Entre Nous. 2009; 69:4-5.Investing in young people is an investment in the future. Yet more than half of young people throughout the globe live in poverty. Impoverished youth are particularly at risk of gender discrimination, poor schooling, unemployment and poor access to health services. They are also less likely to know of, claim and exercise their rights to reproductive health information and services.