United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Mozambique Tackles its Twin Burden of Cervical Cancer and HIV

The woman on bed 27 in Maputo Central Hospital’s oncology ward has no idea how lucky she is. In January, when abdominal pains racked her, a pharmacist suggested pain killers. For months, “the pain would go and return,” she told IPS. 

Fighting the “Neighbour’s Disease” in Mozambique

Mozambique is reeling under the twin burden of HIV and cervical cancer. Eleven women die of cervical cancer every day, or 4,000 a year. Yet this cancer is preventable and treatable, if caught early.

Displacement Spells Danger for Pregnant Women in Pakistan

Imagine traveling for almost an entire day in the blistering sun, carrying all your possessions with you. Imagine fleeing in the middle of the night as airstrikes reduce your village to rubble. Imagine arriving in a makeshift refugee camp where there is no running water, no bathrooms and hardly any food. Now imagine making that journey as a pregnant woman.

Q&A: “The Battle Continues”

The Programme of Action adopted at the landmark 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) included chapters that defined concrete actions covering some 44 dimensions of population and development, including the need to provide for women and girls during times of conflict, the urgency of investments in young people’s capabilities, and the importance of women’s political participation and representation.

Zimbabwe’s Family Planning Dilemma

Pregnant at 15, Samantha Yakubu* is in a fix. The 16-year-old boy she claims was responsible for her pregnancy has refused to accept her version of events, insisting that he was “not the only one who slept with her”.

Lack of Accountability Fuels Gender-Based Violence in India

On a bright March morning, a 17-year old tribal girl woke as usual, and went to catch fish in the village river in the Chirang district of India’s northeastern Assam state.

Conflict Keeps Mothers From Healthcare Services

Twenty-five-year-old Khemwanti Pradhan is a ‘Mitanin’ – a trained and accredited community health worker – based in the Nagarbeda village of the Bastar region in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

Comprehensive Sex Education: A Pending Task in Latin America

In most Latin American countries schools now provide sex education, but with a focus that is generally restricted to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases – an approach that has not brought about significant modifications in the behaviour of adolescents, especially among the poor.

‘Therapeutic Abortion’ Could Soon Be Legal in Chile

Chile, one of the most conservative countries in Latin America, is getting ready for an unprecedented debate on the legalisation of therapeutic abortion, which is expected to be approved this year.

Mission Midwife: The Case for Trained Birth Attendants in Senegal

Diouma Tine is a 50-year-old vegetable seller and a mother of six boys. In her native Senegal, she tells IPS, motherhood isn’t a choice. “If you’re married, then you must have children. If you don’t, then you don’t get to stay in your husband’s house, and no one will respect you.”

Saving the Lives of Cameroonian Mothers and their Babies with an SMS

“You can’t measure the joy in my heart,” Marceline Duba, from Lagdo in Cameroon’s Far North Region, tells IPS as she holds her grandson in her arms.  

U.N. Urged to Reaffirm Reproductive Rights in Post-2015 Agenda

The U.N.'s post-2015 development agenda has been described as the most far-reaching and comprehensive development-related endeavour ever undertaken by the world body.

Against All the Odds: Maternity and Mortality in Afghanistan

Nasrin Mohamadi, a mother of four, has promised herself never to set foot in an Afghan public hospital again. After her first experience in a maternity ward, she has lost all faith in the state’s healthcare system.

OPINION: Investing in Adolescent Girls for Africa’s Development

Adolescence is a time of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is also a time of change and challenge. 

How Niger’s Traditional Leaders are Promoting Maternal Health

It is a long, 14-hour drive from Niger’s capital city Niamey to the village of Bande. And the ride is a dreary one as the roadside is bare. The occasional, lone goat herder is spotted every few kilometres and the sightings become a cause of both confusion and excitement since there aren’t any trees, or watering holes in sight.

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