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Recommendations to Promote Safe and Effective Use of Contraceptives: World Health Organization [letter]
CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research. 2017 Oct-Dec; 4(4):291.The authors discuss the need to support and strengthen national family planning programs through more investment and better awareness to address the 220 million women who have an unmet need for family planning.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 12 p. (Summary Brief WHO/RHR/17.20)Contraception is an inexpensive and cost-effective intervention, but health workforce shortages and restrictive policies on the roles of mid- and lower-level cadres limit access to effective contraceptive methods in many settings. Expanding the provision of contraceptive methods to other health worker cadres can significantly improve access to contraception for all individuals and couples. Many countries have already enabled mid- and lower-level cadres of health workers to deliver a range of contraceptive methods, utilizing these cadres either alone or as part of teams within communities and/or health care facilities. The WHO recognizes task sharing as a promising strategy for addressing the critical lack of health care workers to provide reproductive, maternal and newborn care in low-income countries. Task sharing is envisioned to create a more rational distribution of tasks and responsibilities among cadres of health workers to improve access and cost-effectiveness.
Health Research Policy and Systems. 2018 May 22; 16(1):42.BACKGROUND: As countries continue to improve their family planning (FP) programmes, they may draw on WHO's evidence-based FP guidance and tools (i.e. materials) that support the provision of quality FP services. METHODS: To better understand the use and perceived impact of the materials and ways to strengthen their use by countries, we conducted qualitative interviews with WHO regional advisors, and with stakeholders in Ethiopia and Senegal who use WHO materials. RESULTS: WHO uses a multi-faceted strategy to directly and indirectly disseminate materials to country-level decision-makers. The materials are used to develop national family planning guidelines, protocols and training curricula. Participants reported that they trust the WHO materials because they are evidence based, and that they adapt materials to the country context (e.g. remove content on methods not available in the country). The main barrier to the use of national materials is resource constraints. CONCLUSIONS: Although the system and processes for dissemination work, improvements might contribute to increased use of the materials. For example, providers may benefit from additional guidance on how to counsel women with characteristics or medical conditions where contraceptive method eligibility criteria do not clearly rule in or rule out a method.
Under-served and over-looked: prioritizing contraceptive equity for the poorest and most marginalized women and girls.
London, United Kingdom, IPPF, 2017 Jul. 40 p.This report is a synthesis of evidence revealed from a literature review, including 68 reports from 34 countries. The results are dire: the poorest women and girls, in the poorest communities of the poorest countries are still not benefitting from the global investment in family planning and the joined up actions of the global family planning movement. Women in the poorest countries who want to avoid pregnancy are one-third as likely to be using a modern method as those living in higher-income developing countries.
Policy brief on the case for investing in research to increase access to and use of contraception among adolescents.
Seattle, Washington, PATH, 2015 Mar. 4 p.This document outlines why governments and donors should invest now in research to help determine and implement the most effective and efficient ways to enable adolescents to access and use contraception. It summarizes the findings of a longer technical report.
Quality of care in contraceptive information and services, based on human rights standards: a checklist for health care providers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 32 p.Unmet need for contraception remains high in many settings, and is highest among the most vulnerable in society: adolescents, the poor, those living in rural areas and urban slums, people living with HIV, and internally displaced people. The latest estimates are that 225 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception, and the need is greatest where the risks of maternal mortality are highest. There is increasing recognition that promotion and protection of human rights in contraceptive services and programs is critical to addressing this challenge. However, despite these efforts, human rights are often not explicitly integrated into the design, implementation and monitoring of services. A key challenge is how to best support health care providers and facility managers at the point of service delivery, often in low-resource real-world settings, to ensure their use of human rights aspects in provision of contraceptive services. The point of service delivery is the most direct point of contact where potential violations/omissions of rights come into play and requires special attention. This checklist covers five areas of competence needed by health care providers to provide quality of care in contraceptive information and services including: respecting users’ privacy and guaranteeing confidentiality, choice, accessible and acceptable services, involvement of users in improving services and fostering continuity of care and follow-up. International and regional human rights treaties, national constitutions and laws provide guarantees specifically relating to access to contraceptive information, commodities and services. In addition, over the past few decades, international, regional and national legislative and human rights bodies have increasingly applied human rights to contraceptive information and services. They recommend, among other actions, that states should ensure timely and affordable access to good quality sexual and reproductive health information and services, including contraception, which should be delivered in a way that ensures fully informed decision making, respects dignity, autonomy, privacy and confidentiality, and is sensitive to individuals’ needs and perspectives. This document presents a user friendly checklist specifically addressed to health care providers, at the primary health care level, who are involved in the direct provision of contraceptive information and services. It is complimentary to WHO guidelines on Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: Guidance and recommendations, and the Implementation Guide published jointly with UNFPA in 2015. This checklist also builds on WHO vision document on Standards for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal and Newborn Care and its ongoing work under the Quality, Equity and Dignity initiative. The checklist should be read along with other guidance from WHO and also from partners.
Quality of care in contraceptive information and services, based on human rights standards: a checklist for health care providers.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2017. 32 p.International and regional human rights treaties, national constitutions and laws provide guarantees specifically relating to access to contraceptive information, commodities and services. In addition, over the past few decades, international, regional and national legislative and human rights bodies have increasingly applied human rights to contraceptive information and services. This document presents a user friendly checklist specifically addressed to health care providers, at the primary health care level, who are involved in the direct provision of contraceptive information and services. It is complimentary to WHO guidelines on Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: Guidance and recommendations, and the Implementation Guide published jointly with UNFPA in 2015. This checklist also builds on WHO vision document on Standards for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal and Newborn Care and its ongoing work under the Quality, Equity and Dignity initiative. The checklist should be read along with other guidance from WHO and also from partners.
New York, Evaluation Office, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 2016 Apr. 105 p.The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the performance of UNFPA in the field of family planning during the period covered by the Strategic Plan 2008-2013 and to provide learning to inform the implementation of the current UNFPA Family Planning Strategy Choices not chance (2012-2020). The evaluation provided an overall independent assessment of UNFPA interventions in the area of family planning and identified key lessons learned for the current and future strategies. The particular emphasis of this evaluation was on learning with a view to informing the implementation of the UNFPA family planning strategy Choices not chance 2012-2020, as well as other related interventions and programmes, such as the Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS- 2013-2020). The evaluation constituted an important contribution to the mid-term review of UNFPA strategic plan 2014-2017. The evaluation features five country case study reports: Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe.
Global Health: Science and Practice. 2015 Sep 10; 3(3):352-357.Contraceptive effectiveness is the leading characteristic for most women when choosing a method, but they often are not well informed about effectiveness of methods. Because of the serious consequences of “misinformed choice,” counseling should proactively discuss the most effective methods-long-acting reversible contraceptives and permanent methods-using the WHO tiered-effectiveness model.
Programmatic and research considerations for hormonal contraception for women at risk of HIV and women living with HIV.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, 2012 May.  p. (Policy Implications; WHO/RHR/12.09)Between 31 January and 2 February 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a meeting of experts to discuss recent research on use of hormonal contraception by women at high risk of HIV and those currently living with HIV and its implications. The purpose of the meeting was to review all available published evidence on the relationship between the use of hormonal contraceptives and the risk of HIV acquisition, HIV disease progression, and HIV transmission to uninfected partners, and to determine whether any change in the WHO recommendations on hormonal contraceptive use by women at high risk of, or living with, HIV-infection was needed. During the discussion on the balance of risks and benefits of hormonal contraceptive use among women at high risk of, or living with, HIV infection, multiple programmatic and research issues emerged, including priority knowledge gaps. This brief serves to highlight actions that programmes providing sexual and reproductive health and HIV-prevention services should undertake, in order to complement the Consultation’s recommendations. Directions for future research to address current gaps are noted. (Excerpts)
Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive. 2011-2015.
Geneva, Switzerland, UNAIDS, 2011.  p. (UNAIDS/ JC2137E)This Global Plan provides the foundation for country-led movement towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mothers alive. The Global Plan was developed through a consultative process by a high level Global Task Team convened by UNAIDS. It brought together 25 countries and 30 civil society, private sector, networks of people living with HIV and international organizations to chart a roadmap to achieving this goal by 2015.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 2010. 2 p.This brief argues that despite increases in contraceptive use since 1994, high unmet need for family planning persists. Among the most significant underserved group is a new generation of adolescents. They enter adulthood with inadequate information on sexuality and reproductive health and few skills to protect their health and rights.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Belknap Press, 2008. xiv, 521 p.Rather than a conspiracy theory, this book presents a cautionary tale. It is a story about the future, and not just the past. It therefore takes the form of a narrative unfolding over time, including very recent times. It describes the rise of a movement that sought to remake humanity, the reaction of those who fought to preserve patriarchy, and the victory won for the reproductive rights of both women and men -- a victory, alas, Pyrrhic and incomplete, after so many compromises, and too many sacrifices. (Excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2007. 8 p. (WHO/RHR/07.7)Faced with the challenge of putting into practice the ideals of the Millennium Development Goals, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and other global summits of the last decade, decision-makers and programme managers responsible for sexual and reproductive health ask how they can: improve access to and the quality of family planning and other sexual and reproductive health services; increase skilled attendance at birth and strengthen referral systems; reduce the recourse to abortion and improve the quality of existing abortion services; provide information and services that respond to young people's needs; and integrate the prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections, including HIV/AIDS, with other sexual and reproductive health services. (excerpt)
Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2007 Nov; 110(5):999-1002.Family planning plays a pivotal role in population growth, poverty reduction, and human development. Evidence from the United Nations and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations supports this conclusion. Failure to sustain family planning programs, both domestically and abroad, will lead to increased population growth and poorer health worldwide, especially among the poor. However, robust family planning services have a range of benefits, including maternal and infant survival, nutrition, educational attainment, the status of girls and women at home and in society, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, and environmental conservation efforts. Family planning is a prerequisite for achievement of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals and for realizing the human right of reproductive choice. Despite this well-documented need, the U.S. contribution to global family planning has declined in recent years. (author's)
Targeting access to reproductive health: Giving contraception more prominence and using indicators to monitor progress.
Reproductive Health Matters. 2007 May; 15(29):186-191.Unmet need for contraception represents a major failure in the provision of reproductive health services and reflects the extent of access to services for spacing and limiting births, which are also affected by personal, partner, community and health system factors. In the context of the Millennium Development Goals, family planning has been given insufficient attention compared to maternal health and the control of sexually transmitted infections. As this omission is being redressed, efforts should be directed towards ensuring that an indicator of unmet need is used as a measure of access to services. The availability of data on unmet need must also be increased to enable national comparisons and facilitate resource mobilisation. Unmet need is a vital component in monitoring the proportion of women able to space and limit births. Unmet need for contraception is a measure conditioned by people's preferences and choices and therefore firmly introduces a rights perspective into development discourseand serves as an important instrument to improve the sensitivity of policy dialogue. The new reproductive health target and the opportunity it offers to give appropriate attention to unmet need for contraception will allow the entry of other considerations vital to ensuring universal access to reproductive health. (author's)
New York, New York, International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF], Western Hemisphere Region [WHR], 2002 May 15.  p.On April 3, 2002, Steven Sinding, director-general designate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, delivered a speech to the Commission on Population and Development in New York. The speech summarizes priorities for evaluating progress made in the implementation of the Program of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Developement in Cairo in 1994. I am making this statement today as director-general designate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world's leading voluntary family planning organization. IPPF and its member associations are committed to promoting the right of women and men to decide freely the number, timing, and spacing of their children and the right to the highest possible level of sexual and reproductive health. Founded in 1952, it is a federation linking autonomous national Family Planning Associations working in more than 180 countries around the world, initiating, promoting and providing sexual and reproductive health and rights-based services. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, IPPF is proud to have an opportunity to address this meeting of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD). (excerpt)
American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2005; 28(5):483-490.The World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for providing evidence-based family planning guidance for use worldwide. WHO currently has two such guidelines, Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use and Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, which are widely used globally and often incorporated into national family planning standards and guidelines. To ensure that these guidelines remain up-to-date, WHO, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Information and Knowledge for Optimal Health (INFO) Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs, has developed the Continuous Identification of Research Evidence (CIRE) system to identify, synthesize, and evaluate new scientific evidence as it becomes available. The CIRE system identifies new evidence that is relevant to current WHO family planning recommendations through ongoing review of the input to the POPulation information onLINE (POPLINE) database. Using the Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines and standardized abstract forms, systematic reviews are conducted, peer-reviewed, and sent to WHO for further action. Since the system began in October 2002, 90 relevant new articles have been identified, leading to 43 systematic reviews, which were used during the 2003–2004 revisions of WHO’s family planning guidelines. The partnership developed to create and manage the CIRE system has pooled existing resources; scaled up the methodology for evaluating and synthesizing evidence, including a peer-review process; and provided WHO with finger-on-the-pulse capability to ensure that its family planning guidelines remain up-to-date and based on the best available evidence. (author's)
Washington, D.C., Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Commercial Market Strategies, 2004 May. , 25 p. (Working Paper; USAID Contract No. HRN-C-00-98-00039-00)Although health-related CSR programs are fairly common, reproductive health (RH) and family planning (FP) initiatives are underrepresented in the global portfolio of CSR programs. These programs might include maternal and child health, STI/HIV/AIDS prevention and education, and provision of contraceptives. To help facilitate the inclusion of RH initiatives in CSR programs, this paper addresses the following questions: What are the motivations behind CSR programs, and what are current CSR trends? What characterizes different CSR models, and how does each model lend itself to the inclusion of family planning and reproductive health services? What opportunities exist for partnerships focused on reproductive health? To answer these questions, CMS conducted in-depth interviews with more than 50 business leaders whose companies are noted for their CSR programs. CMS’s research was designed to unearth the depth and detail of CSR processes from the corporate perspective, seeking to understand why corporations become involved in CSR, as well as how they do it, so that this knowledge could be applied to potential RH initiatives. CMS’s research clearly shows that corporate culture and values drive CSR initiatives. There are usually both internal and external motivations for these programs. Most companies do not view their social and financial responsibilities as mutually exclusive; instead, they link CSR to their core business strategies. CMS also found that a company’s stakeholders play an influential role in selecting and designing its CSR program. Companies are increasingly interested in forming partnerships with the public sector or NGOs, in order to bring technical expertise or other resources to CSR programs. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Ford Foundation, 2003.  p.The connections between globalization and women’s reproductive health and rights are not straightforward, and as yet, there is little systematic evidence exploring these linkages. The following paper will examine more closely what is meant by globalization and attempt to analyze its broad implications for women’s health and well-being, albeit largely from first principles. (excerpt)
Population 2005: News and Views on Further Implementation of Cairo Program of Action. 2003 Mar-Apr; 5(1):4.Better access to family planning services, contraception and reproductive health services is central in the overall struggle against poverty, according to a United Nations Population Fund report on The State of the World Population 2002 released in New York in January. Jointly launching the report with Stirling Scruggs, UNFPA director for information and external relations, Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute, said the report showed how reproductive health, family planning, population and policy fed into all eight Millennium Goals. (excerpt)
UNFPA welcomes EU funds for RH and family planning programmes. European Union pledges 32 million euros for reproductive health in 22 countries.
Asian Forum Newsletter. 2002 Jul-Aug; 7.UN Population Fund (UNFPA) welcomes the announcement made by the European Commission on the 24th of July, 2002, to strengthen its support for sexual and reproductive health in twenty-two developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. The 32 million euros joint project will be carried out by UNFPA in partnership with the European Union (EU), and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), to provide the targeted countries with family planning services and advice on population and health issues. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., USAID, Center for Population, Health and Nutrition, 2001 Nov.  p. (POP Briefs)This document presents the benefits of family planning programs on women's health. It includes statistics on this topic and gives examples of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in this area.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 1990. v, 51 p. (WHO/HST/90.2)Some estimation of the magnitude of global health problems and trends is essential for the formulation of international health policies and strategies. Toward this end, in 1987, the World Health Organization published a document based on statistics available at the time on global health-related estimates. This document updates and refines the earlier report on the basis of more reliable data. State-of-the-art data are presented for 7 major categories: 1) demographic factors; 2) socioeconomic development; 3) general health problems (e.g., low birthweight, infant mortality, disability); 4) specific health problems (infectious and parasitic diseases, cancer, endocrine, metabolic, and nutritional disorders, anemia, mental and neurological disorders, circulatory diseases, respiratory diseases, occupational injuries and diseases, and oral health; 5) health-related issues (e.g., alcoholism, smoking, breastfeeding, and sanitation); 6) health services aspects (e.g., family planning, immunization); and 7) health resources (human resources, health expenditures, and pharmaceuticals). In most cases, statistics are presented for the 1985-90 period. It is emphasized in the introduction that, while these statistics provide orders of magnitude sufficient to support health policy planning, they lack the precision required for the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of disease-specific intervention strategies.
In: Eye to eye, [compiled by] International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]. London, England, IPPF, 2001. 16-21.Through the use of clinics, youth centers, retail outlets, integrated facilities and other means, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is ensuring that for the first time in many countries, young people can now access youth- friendly sexual and reproductive health services designed for young people where no other organization is providing them. There are a number of strategies to attract young people to services or to take services to young people but in each case the factors for success are linked to quality and the attributes of youth friendliness. IPPF affiliates have also shown how a broader approach to youth development can be used to achieve sexual and reproductive health related goals. (excerpt)