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St. John's, Antigua, CFPA, 1987. 39 p.In the 1920s 1/3 of the children in the Caribbean area died before age 5, and life expectancy was 35 years; today life expectancy is 70 years. In the early 1960s only 50,000 women used birth control; in the mid-1980s 500,000 do, but this is still only 1/2 of all reproductive age women. During 1987 the governments of St. Lucia, Dominica and Grenada adopted formal population policies; and the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA) called for the introduction of sex education in all Caribbean schools for the specific purpose of reducing the high teenage pregnancy rate of 120/1000. CFPA received funds from the US Agency for International Development and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities to assist in its annual multimedia IEC campaigns directed particularly at teenagers and young adults. CFPA worked with other nongovernmental organizations to conduct seminars on population and development and family life education in schools. In 1986-87 CFPA held a short story contest to heighten teenage awareness of family planning. The CFPA and its member countries observed the 3rd Annual Family Planning Day on November 21, 1987; and Stichting Lobi, the Family Planning Association of Suriname celebrated its 20th anniversary on February 29, 1988. CFPA affiliate countries made strides in 1987 in areas of sex education, including AIDS education, teenage pregnancy prevention, and outreach programs. The CFPA Annual Report concludes with financial statements, a list of member associations, and the names of CFPA officers.
JOICFP NEWS. 1999 Jan; (295):2.64 representatives of UNFPA, Pathfinder, and the Johns Hopkins University, together with high-level representatives of Ministries of Health and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru attended a conference on advocating sexuality education in school programs in the region. The conference, held October 22-26, 1998, was organized by JOICFP and the Mexican Foundation for Family Planning (MEXFAM) in collaboration with UNFPA and IPPF. Conference participants exchanged experiences upon sexuality education in school programs through group discussions and panel and country presentations. One goal of the conference was to strengthen the links between the various Ministries of Education and NGOs in the field of human sexuality. Recommendations for promoting adolescent reproductive health from Latin America and the Caribbean Region to ICPD+5 were made by 3 work groups and accepted by all participants as the outcome of the conference. Steps are currently being taken to develop and implement school curricula designed to raise the levels of awareness among youths of the important relationship between population and sustainable growth, as well as health issues and sexual equality.
REACHING OUT. 1998 Spring; 17: p.Launched 7 years ago by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)/Western Hemisphere Region (WHR), Under Twenty Clubs (UTCs) are comprised of young people who help family planning associations in 10 countries across the Caribbean reach out to young people, mainly those in school. Active upon many issues concerning youths, the UTCs are lauded in a number of countries as role models for and leaders among youths. Under the UTC program, the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) trains peer counselors to provide guidance to their peers in school. In so doing, the young counselors gain recognition in school while contributing to the lives of their peers. Several UTCs also organize special community service programs. The UTCs are highly regarded across the Caribbean, with members in Belize and Grenada having received National Awards. Efforts are currently underway to develop a regional strategic plan to chart the UTCs' future.
CAIRO EXAMINER. 1994 Autumn; 15-7.When the current Nicaraguan administration came into office in 1990, following the defeat of the Sandinista regime, a well-established sex education program, funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was already in place in Nicaragua. The program focused upon teaching adolescents the wisdom of contraceptives, teaching them to know and use them, and presenting sexuality and sexual behavior in a positive light as long as pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are prevented. If these two latter conditions were met, then all types of sexual activity were deemed acceptable. The program was justified by Nicaraguans and UN staff involved in the effort as a means of tackling Nicaragua's main problem, rapid population growth. The author, Minister of Education in Nicaragua since 1990, opposed condom distribution in schools. He describes the UNFPA's agenda and population policy.
VACCINE WEEKLY. 1994 Dec 19; 12-3.According to a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report, which evaluated progress toward fulfillment of the 29 recommendations of the Childhood Pact signed in 1993 by 22 of Brazil's 27 provincial governors, large-scale vaccination programs have been successful while attempts to improve education have not. The pact covered the rights of children and adolescents, the reduction of infant mortality, and improved health and education services. Massive vaccination efforts have eradicated polio from Brazil and reduced measles from 23,000 cases in 1992 to 124 cases in 1993 and 14 cases, to date, in 1994. However, 77% of primary school students are over the expected age for their educational level; plans to increase literacy among adolescents who lack primary education were frustrated, and teacher's strikes in many states cut into their time with students. In 1993, classes were suspended in 10 states to protest poor salaries and a lack of respect for teachers, another issue to be addressed by the pact. Provision of lunches for at least 180 days of the year in order to prevent malnutrition and boost school attendance in the poorest areas was also in the pact, but 17 of the 22 states which signed the pact have yet to do implement lunch programs. UNICEF, the executive secretary of the pact, has released a document, "Expectations for 1995-1998," suggesting renewal of the pact in combination with other measures to ensure the survival and development of Brazil's children.