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Dear Friend,

This International Women’s Day (IWD), we mark 101 years of hard-earned success and progress for women and girls, including EngenderHealth’s work to advance global reproductive health around the world. Also in this issue:

  • “Reproductive Health 101” for IWD
  • Fistula Care convenes fistula surgeons, health providers in the D.R. Congo
  • Global health funding in President Obama’s FY 2013 budget request

 

Global Perspectives

  Women Deliver 50
  Thanks to your support, EngenderHealth’s postabortion care work has made it into Women Deliver’s Top 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions for women and girls!

“Reproductive Health 101”: EngenderHealth Connects Girls, Inspires Futures
This International Women’s Day, we are celebrating 101 years of hard-earned success and progress for women. In honor of this year’s theme, Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures, we’ve created “Reproductive Health 101,” a collection of the top sexual and reproductive health issues facing girls and young women around the globe today and what EngenderHealth is doing to address them. Also read a letter from our President, Pamela W. Barnes, marking International Women’s Day.

  Global Fistula Care Map
 

Check out a new interactive global map, showing where in the world women are in
greatest need for obstetric fistula services. EngenderHealth contributed data to this project.

Fistula Care Convenes Surgical Experts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
EngenderHealth's Fistula Care project is hosting a meeting of fistula surgeons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to discuss the successes and challenges of providing fistula services in the country, March 8-9. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent an inspiring message (PDF, 247KB) to participants lauding the surgeons and health providers for their tireless commitment to Congolese women, and the vital role of the Fistula Care project in the country. The event will also include representatives from the Ministry of Health, the United Nations Population Fund, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and others.

WHO: Hormonal Contraceptives Are Safe, Dual Protection Is Recommended
Following a recent meeting of experts to assess a possible link between the use of hormonal contraceptives and the risk of HIV, the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that women can safely continue to use hormonal contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, even if they are at risk of or living with HIV. WHO recommends that couples use condoms as dual protection against HIV. EngenderHealth participated in the technical consultation in Geneva and supports the WHO guidance. Read our statement, which also includes our longstanding principles on clinical excellence.

 

Policy Updates

 
President Obama Maintains Family Planning Funding in FY2013 Budget Request
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget request maintains funding for global family planning programs, while cutting many other areas of global health, including maternal health (by 4.5%), nutrition (5.3%), and neglected tropical diseases (24.7%). The request also includes a $546 million cut to U.S. bilateral HIV and AIDS programs, while significantly increasing funding to meet U.S. pledges in multilateral programs, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

On the Hill: Recent Legislative Actions for Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights
The U.S. Senate last month addressed a number of issues affecting the health and rights of women and girls, including a bill against child marriage passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee to renew the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as well as a new campaign by Democratic Senators, One Million Strong for Women, in response to recent political attacks on women’s health and rights. Read more.

 

News and Views

 
RESPOND Project Leads Effort to Measure Family Planning Progress

EngenderHealth’s RESPOND Project has led a three-year effort to update “Couple-Years of Protection,” a standard measure used by governments and global organizations to gauge the progress of family planning programs. Together with the Futures Institute, EngenderHealth conducted an extensive literature review, created a database for the findings, and hosted several meetings to agree on the updated conversion factors. The U.S. Agency for International Development officially endorsed the updated conversion factors in December 2011. Read more.

FDA Grants Priority Review for Truvada, an HIV Treatment and Prevention Drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review for Truvada, a drug that was initially shown to reduce HIV infection by as much as 70% among those who used it consistently.  A follow-on clinical trial, however, was ended abruptly last April when preliminary results were disappointing. Truvada was previously approved in 2004 for treatment of HIV infection. Priority status is typically given to drugs that offer significant advances over existing treatments or that fill a gap where a drug does not already exist.

 

In the News


The Daily Star in Bangladesh highlighted a February 29 global discussion on safe motherhood moderated by EngenderHealth Country Director Dr. Abu Jamil Faisel.

In a February 28 article, TrustLaw featured a new Global Map for Obstetric Fistula, for which EngenderHealth contributed data.

The Citizen in Tanzania published a February 21 article on EngenderHealth’s work to prevent gender-based violence in Tanzania.

The Tribune in Nigeria highlighted EngenderHealth’s Fistula Care project in a March 1 article.


Publications and Resources


The Fistula Care project issued a report (PDF, 2.3MB) on efforts to integrate fistula treatment and prevention at the Aberdeen Women’s Centre in Sierra Leone.

EngenderHealth’s RESPOND Project reported (PDF, 2.2MB) on Guinean health facilities and their readiness to respond to gender-based violence.

 

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