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In our world of 7 billion, even a single person can make a difference. Esther Nyokabi is an EngenderHealth-trained champion and mother who overcame all odds to advocate for reproductive health for women in her community. Her story features in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “World at 7 Billion” campaign, commemorating the newest global population milestone and demonstrating how individuals are bringing about change in their communities. Also in this issue:

 

   
Policy Updates

 

When investing in family planning, you get 3 for 1. Check out our video on how family planning saves lives while also addressing (1) hunger, (2) instability, and (3) the strain on the environment.

Pan-African Parliament Affirms Primacy of Maternal and Child Health
Last month, the Pan-African Parliament (the African Union’s legislative arm) passed a resolution urging African governments to prioritize and increase resources for maternal and child health programs. The resolution represents a “significant milestone” in accelerating progress toward Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 and is rooted in advocacy efforts by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and the Africa Public Health Parliamentary Network. EngenderHealth works across the African continent every day to expand women’s access to quality maternal health care.

Ending Sexual Violence, Increasing Health Access in Central Africa
The U.S. government is deploying 100 troops to Central Africa to help fight the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a decades-old organization notorious for rape, sex slavery, and other forms of violence against women. While increasing stability in the region will inevitably take time, it is a prerequisite for improving security and developing critical infrastructure needed to expand access to health care—a goal that EngenderHealth works to achieve throughout Africa. Our Fistula Care project supports health centers in Uganda, the LRA’s country of origin, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where the group operates today. Read more here, and read a story on EngenderHealth-trained fistula surgeons in the DRC.

Celebrating the United Nations’ Efforts to End Violence against Women
On November 23, the United Nations (UN) will celebrate both the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 15th anniversary of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. Held at UN Headquarters in New York City, the event will include a conversation with young leaders from around the world who are working on this issue. Hosting the event is UN Women, which was established last July to accelerate goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

 

   
Global Perspectives

  7 Billion People?!?

Deep breath. It's a lot of people. And a lot of press. Check out our digital digest of "7 billion" media for the lay of the land!

CDC: 80% of U.S. Teenage Boys Using Condoms the First Time They Have Sex
Four out of five teenage boys in the United States say they used a condom the first time they had sex, a sign that efforts to change youth sexual behavior are showing success, according to a study released on October 12 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is not clear, however, whether condom use is initiated by boys or girls or whether it persists beyond the first time they have sex. Consistent and correct condom use is a key goal of Gender Matters, an EngenderHealth program aimed at improving sexual and reproductive health among adolescents by addressing gender norms. The program is based in Austin, Texas, home to one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country.

Former EngenderHealth Board Member Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Francine Coeytaux, former Vice Chair of the EngenderHealth Board, has received the Carl S. Schultz Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award was presented on October 31 at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. Francine served on EngenderHealth’s Board for 15 years. She is the founder of the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health and is highly regarded for her dedication and commitment to promoting comprehensive reproductive health services and new reproductive technologies.

 
 

   
In the News <empty>

U.S. House Passes Bill to Restrict Women’s Access to Abortion Services
In an October 13 vote (251–172), the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow health providers to deny abortion services to a pregnant woman, even in a medical emergency in which her life is at risk. H.R. 358, the “Protect Life Act,” also contains provisions that would allow health insurance companies to deny coverage for contraceptives and would implement a gag order preventing insurers from providing information to women about how to obtain abortion coverage. President Barack Obama has said that he would veto the bill, authored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), if it were to pass in the Senate.

Update on International Family Planning Funding
The U.S. Congress is currently debating the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill, which includes potentially dramatic cuts to women’s reproductive health programs. In July, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut family planning funding by 25% from current levels and to reinstate the Mexico City Policy as a matter of law. The House also voted to bar U.S. contributions to the UNFPA. The Senate sought to counter those efforts in its version of the bill on September 28.


   
In the News <empty>

  7 Billion People?!?

EngenderHealth will host a November 30 reception on "Empowered Decision Making: How to Make It a Reality?" at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar (6:30pm-8:30pm). Please RSVP by email.

EngenderHealth at 2011 International Conference on Family Planning
EngenderHealth will participate in the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal (November 29–December 2), with 16 oral presentations, three poster presentations, and six panel presentations. We will also host several auxiliary sessions and a November 30 reception. For more on the agenda, visit our web site.

President Barnes Delivers Keynote at 2011 GlobeMed HillTop Conference
On November 12, EngenderHealth President Pamela W. Barnes delivered the honorary keynote address at the 2011 GlobeMed HillTop Global Health Conference. This year’s conference, “From Philosophy to Practice: Partnership as Paradigm for Health Equity,” explored the role of partnerships in addressing health disparities. GlobeMed is a university-based nonprofit that encourages global collaboration among students and grassroots organizations to improve health for people living in poverty.

Strengthening Health Systems through a Maternal Health Framework
The Maternal Health Task Force and the Woodrow Wilson Center co-hosted an October 27 event, “Strengthening Health Systems through a Maternal Health Framework”—the latest in an ongoing dialogue series on maternal health. The event took place in Washington, DC, and included a live stream of participants in Nairobi. A webcast of the dialogue is available, along with an October 20 recap of the event by the Maternal Health Task Force.


   
In the News <empty>

In its October 10 Daily Global Health Policy Report, the Kaiser Family Foundation highlighted EngenderHealth’s efforts to treat women living with fistula in Rwanda. The article was originally published by the New Times in Rwanda on October 9.

On October 11, the Nigerian Tribune published two stories featuring EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project and its work in Nigeria: on fistula prevention efforts in Kwara State, and on free fistula repair surgery in Bauchi State.

Maternova and Global Mama blog recapped the Maternal Health Task Force’s Maternal Health Buzz Meeting in October, which assembled 60 experts in Tarrytown, N.Y., to take stock of the field of maternal health.

Nigeria’s Daily Trust published an October 18 Q&A with Iyeme Efem, Project Manager with EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project.


   
New Publications and Resources <empty>

The SEED Assessment Guide describes and offers underlying principles for EngenderHealth’s comprehensive approach to the design and implementation of sexual and reproductive health programs.


   

 

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