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Progress in Reproductive Health Research. 1996; (37):6-7.Since the 1960s, thousands of studies have been published on the safety and effectiveness of contraceptive methods. Over this period, new contraceptive methods have been introduced and methods that were being used in the 1960s have been improved. However, many of the advances that have been made in contraception have not been accompanied by updating of family planning policies and prescribing practices to reflect the progress. This has prevented the full range of methods from being available to many potential users. (excerpt)
New York, New York, UNICEF, 1996. , 54 p.This document contains the UN's 1996 assessment that ranks the nations of the world according to their achievements in specific areas of human well-being. The introductory comments by the Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund notes that the ratios between national wealth and social progress are not static and depend upon such factors as history and culture, political stability, the accountability of governments, and the sense of realism and honesty adopted as a country faces its problems. Past successes teach the importance of avoiding complacency in working toward progress in eliminating avoidable human suffering. The six commentaries then cover the major topics of 1) maternal mortality (female genital mutilation), 2) nutrition, 3) health (progress in immunization), 4) education (with data on the number of girls out of school), 5) the Convention on the Rights of the Child (national performance gaps and action to date), and 6) the industrial world (child poverty in rich nations and levels of youth illiteracy, tobacco use, suicide, pregnancy, and injury deaths). The report also includes statistical tables that illustrate 1) social indicators for less populous countries, 2) progress in meeting 1995 goals, 3) statistical profiles, and 4) information on the age of the data.
Watertown, Massachusetts, Pathfinder International, 1996. 24 p.Pathfinder International seeks to build capacity to create and improve access to the fullest possible range of quality information and services to enable individuals and couples to make reproductive health choices. The agency's annual report for 1996 opens with a message from its president that characterizes 1996 as an astonishing year because the US government instituted an 85% budget cut in international family planning (FP) programs and because Pathfinder received the UN Population Award. The US cuts have occurred at a time when governments of other industrialized countries have increased support for international FP programs and when demand for FP has grown. The UN award afforded Pathfinder a platform for advocating replacing US support to reproductive health services. The next section highlights Pathfinder's receipt of the UN award and reproduces letters of congratulations from US Senators. This is followed by a chronology of Pathfinder's first 40 years of operation. The report continues with a description of programs and activities that seek improvement in quality of reproductive health care, collaboration with other organizations, increased access to services, and integration of reproductive health services and also place a focus on youth. The report ends with a list of foundations that provided support during 1996, of individual donors, and of the members of the Board of Directors as well as a financial statement. A free copy of this report can be ordered from Carrie Hubbell, Technical Communications Unit, 9 Galen Street, Suite 217, Watertown, Massachusetts 02172, USA.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHALLENGES. 1996; (2):37.The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Arab World Regional Bureau has urged its member associations to adopt the concept of responsible parenthood as a basic premise for effective reproductive and sexual health programs. To that end, the associations are encouraged to develop programs and activities which support the principles of the responsible parenthood concept. The 3-year plans of regional family planning associations include programs designed to deepen the level of men's awareness on family planning and sexual and reproductive health issues and encourage male participation in the implementation of programs. The author explains how The Arab man believes that family planning and reproductive health issues lie exclusively in the woman's domain and notes differences between countries with regard to men's knowledge, attitude, and practice in reproductive and sexual health, family planning, and gender issues; and the central elements of the male-oriented projects.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHALLENGES. 1996; (2):30-3.There is currently a wave of interest in male involvement in family planning and sexual and reproductive health. Rather than seeing men mainly as obstacles to female acceptance of family planning, modern family planning programs tend to focus upon men as partners or potential clients with their own sexual and reproductive needs. Recent overviews of male involvement projects offer a wide range of rationales for paying more attention to men. In particular, the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action expanded the concepts of population and family planning so as to give some priority to the role, behavior, and needs of men. A brief history of the International Planned Parenthood Federation's focus on men is presented, followed by consideration of why men should be addressed, male involvement initiatives, and the future.
Watertown, Massachusetts, Pathfinder International, 1996. 15 p.This booklet contains the speech made by Daniel E. Pellegrom, President of Pathfinder International, upon accepting the 1996 UN Population Award on behalf of Pathfinder International. In his speech, Pellegrom thanked Dr. Nafis Sadik, head of the UN Population Fund for her work, especially in achieving adoption of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. Pellegrom accepted the Population Award on behalf of Pathfinder's Board of Directors, staff, and founders. While expressing his pride in receiving the award, Pellegrom noted that opponents of reproductive health are working to undermine the efforts of family planners worldwide by reducing funding support from the US. Pellegrom noted that reproductive freedom is fundamental and that the demand for family planning (FP) services has never been higher. The lack of support for FP among US politicians demands that the political discussions be reshaped to include the voices of Americans who have benefitted from FP in their own lives and would not deny it to destitute people throughout the world.
New York, New York, UNFPA, . 74 p.The introduction to the 1995 Annual Report of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) notes that, during the year, the UNFPA operated in 150 countries and represented the largest single source of population assistance. At the request of developing countries, the UNFPA helps to improve reproductive health care, to promote sustainable development, and to provide data on population. The $3.5 billion dispersed since the UNFPA's inception in 1969 has come solely from voluntary contributions from 167 nations. In 1995, 85 nations contributed $313 million. Another aim of the fund is to promote the goals of the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which seek to expand the availability of education, reduce infant and child mortality, and increase access to reproductive health care, including family planning. This annual report highlights the ways in which the fund exercised its mandate during 1995. Graphs detail UNFPA assistance by major function, by geographical region, by country/intercountry category, and by executing agency. Activities in the core program areas are summarized, as are the ICPD follow-up efforts. Regional reviews are provided for Africa South of the Sahara, the Arab States and Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, interregional and nongovernmental organization programs are described. The report ends with a consideration of the increased future resource requirements needed from donor countries to implement the ICPD Program of Action. Appendices include such 1995 data as an income and expenditures report, a record of government pledges and payments, project allocations, executive board decisions, and resolutions.
Lancet. 1996 Jul 27; 348(9022):211-2.With support from the UN Population Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the World Bank, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Thailand, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe launched the Partners in Population and Development Program at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The goal was to create a more effective mechanism through which developing countries can share their experiences in family planning and reproductive health. An interim secretariat was established at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, paving the way for a small secretariat in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Partners' governing board, comprised of the highest-ranking officials responsible for reproductive health in each of the 10 countries, held a meeting in Mexico City attended by representatives of donor organizations and nongovernmental organizations, and by international experts in reproductive health research and policy. During associated field visits, there was an opportunity to see how Mexico caters to the reproductive health needs of its urban and rural populations. Mexico has many programs which other Partners could adapt for their own needs. Other Partner countries are equally willing to share their successes.
HEALTH TRANSITION REVIEW. 1996 Apr; 6(1):101-3.The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) program of action mainly focuses upon empowering women so that they can make their own reproductive decisions using contraception and health care provided by health systems. However, male reproductive health also should be considered, thereby requiring attention to urology and infertility, as well as gynecology in the reproductive health services. The program of action, however, fails to consider men except for when they are asked to support women. Men are asked to support and not interfere with women, consistent with the North American feminist demand that women have total control. The authors consider the truth about the prevailing generalities about men's and women's roles and relationships. Their positions are based upon ethnographic field research among working-class people in Istanbul during 1994 and 1995. The narratives assembled through their research warn against presuming knowledge of whether the man or the woman controls fertility. One cannot say that the use of male methods of contraception means that men have absolute power over fertility control.
HEALTH TRANSITION REVIEW. 1996 Apr; 6(1):103-7.A fundamental theme of discussions at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was that institutional population programs are too often concerned with demographic targets at the expense of women's needs, dignity, and autonomy. Family planning in such a context had become the means to lower fertility rather than a legitimate end in itself. The program of action adopted at the ICPD attempted to respond to those criticisms by redefining the role of family planning. The document states that reproductive health, within the World Health Organization context of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, and that they have the capacity to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. Implicit in this definition is the right of information about and a choice of methods for family planning. Family planning has become a reproductive right. The author discusses reproductive health and primary health care in this context.
POPULATION HEADLINERS. 1996 Jan-Feb; (250):2.A committee of health specialists selected four physicians and scientists out of 66 candidates to receive the distinguished Prince Mahidol Award. The Thai Royal Family awarded each of them medals, certificates, and US$50,000 for their exceptional contributions to family planning. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presented the awards to each recipient on January 31, 1996. UNFPA's Executive Director, Dr. Nafis Sadik, was recognized for her leadership at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. IPPF President, Dr. Frederick Sai, who also serves as a public health professor at the University of Ghana, received honors for promoting family planning in Africa. Dr. Carl Djerassi, an organic chemistry professor at Stanford University in California, was selected for his research in developing oral contraceptives. Dr. Egon Diczfalusy, a retired professor of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, was honored for his reproductive endocrinology research, especially his work on the reproductive system's steroid hormones. The Prince Mahidol Foundation serves to celebrate the birth of Prince Mahidol of Songkhla, the father of the King of Thailand and the Father of Thai Medicine.