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New data from the United Nations (UN) reveal a near-50% drop in annual maternal deaths over the past two decades. Still, many countries will not achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goal for reducing maternal mortality by 75%. Also in this issue:


Global Perspectives
  EngenderHealth President Pamela W. Barnes presents Dr. Mahamadou with a gift during her visit.
   On May 18, EngenderHealth welcomed Her Excellency Dr. Malika Issoufou Mahamadou, the First Lady of the Republic of Niger, at our New York office.
Our Fistula Care project works in Niger to prevent and treat obstetric fistula.

UN: Annual Maternal Deaths Halved in 20 Years
The number of women dying from a pregnancy-related cause each year has fallen by nearly 50% between 1990 and 2010, according to new estimates from the UN. While this progress is a testament to the global efforts undertaken to support mothers’ health, approximately 287,000 women still die every year from causes that are almost always preventable. EngenderHealth is continuing our work around the world to reach more women with quality maternal health services.

Parliamentarians Reaffirm Support for Reproductive Health and Rights
Last month, at the International Parliamentarians’ Conference on Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, parliamentarians from 110 countries adopted the Istanbul Declaration of Commitment, reaffirming their support for reducing poverty and safeguarding people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Representing the U.S. Congress at the conference were Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who joined some 400 global delegates in pledging to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights and other goals established during the 1994 conference in Cairo.


Policy Updates

House, Senate Committees at Odds on FY2013 Global Family Planning Budget
The House and Senate appropriations committees approved their respective fiscal year 2013 budgets for global family planning assistance, setting the stage for heated negotiations later this year. While the House committee voted to cut international family planning funding to $461 million (nearly 25% below current levels), the Senate is looking to increase the family planning budget to $700 million. The two houses are also at odds on funding for the UN Population Fund and on reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule. The full House and Senate will vote on their respective bills before ironing out a single bill for signature by President Barack Obama. Read more.

Congressional Impasse Continues on Violence against Women Act
A congressional stalemate persists between the House and Senate over the reauthorization of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA), a bill that protects survivors of domestic violence. Although VAWA has historically enjoyed bipartisan support, the bill has stalled over new Senate provisions that include special protections for immigrants, Native Americans, and gays and lesbians (S. 1925). The House responded with its own version of the legislation (H.R. 4970) that removes the Senate proposals.


Global Perspectives

   Thank you!
Through your incredible enthusiasm and support for our Mother’s Day Plant a Flower, Honor a Mother campaign, we exceeded our goal, planting more than 4,200 flowers in less than one week to support mothers around the world.
  Mother’s Day Plant a Flower, Honor a Mother
Study: IUD Is the Most Effective Method of Emergency Contraception
When used within five days of unprotected sex, the intrauterine device (IUD), a long-acting method of birth control, is the most effective emergency contraceptive available today, according to findings from a new study in the Human Reproduction Journal. In a review of 42 IUD studies, researchers found that IUDs successfully prevented pregnancy 999 times out of 1,000—a failure rate of less than 0.1%. Plan B, known popularly as the “morning-after pill,” has a failure rate of 1% to 2% and must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.

UN Adopts Resolution for Adolescents’ Reproductive Health
To affirm support for the health and rights of global youth, the United Nations Commission on Population and Development adopted a landmark resolution last month to promote young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights. More than one-third (1.8 billion) of the world’s population today is under the age of 19, and most live in the developing world. Learn more about what EngenderHealth is doing to reach Indian adolescents with quality youth-friendly reproductive health services.


In the News

On May 22, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics cited Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Kabagema, Senior Medical Associate at EngenderHealth, in a blog post about the need for more fistula doctors in Rwanda.

The New Times in Rwanda highlighted EngenderHealth’s work to prevent and treat fistula in a May 20 article.

CBS News affiliate Radio Alice (97.3) in San Francisco featured President Pamela W. Barnes in its May 13 “Sunday Magazine” program. To listen to specific topics in the interview, read our May 18 blog post.

5MinutesForMom.com showcased EngenderHealth’s Plant a Flower, Honor a Mother campaign in a May 12 blog post.

The Daily Monitor in Uganda quoted Edith Ronah Mukisa, EngenderHealth Country Manager, in a May 9 article about fistula and the lack of skilled birth attendants.

BDNews24.com in Bangladesh quoted Dr. Abu Jamil Faisel, EngenderHealth Country Director, in a May 8 article on urban health and a May 6 article on the Millennium Development Goals for women and children.

In a May 5 article on male involvement in women’s reproductive health, The Citizen in Tanzania cited EngenderHealth’s programs for engaging men.

Pres. Barnes co-authored an April 24 Huffington Post op-ed, “Beyond Condoms: A Broader Choice for an AIDS-Free Generation,” with Population Action International Pres. Suzanne Ehlers.

In an April 22 article, The Tanzania Daily News highlighted EngenderHealth’s work to improve the quality of family planning services in the country through the ACQUIRE Tanzanian Project.

The Daily Northwestern and Citifmonline.com quoted Pres. Barnes in April 16 articles on GlobeMed’s 2012 Global Health Summit held at Northwestern University.

In an April 4 article, the San Francisco Sentinel recognized Belle Taylor-McGhee, an EngenderHealth Board Member, for her appointment to the San Francisco Health Commission. 

Publications and Resources

Stat-Shot is an innovative web-based statistics tool developed by EngenderHealth’s RESPOND Project that enables quick analysis of family planning data from a compilation of 40 Demographic and Health Surveys.

A technical brief by Fistula Care describes the planning process and results behind a community-based screening initiative for obstetric fistula in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

The RESPOND Project helped International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Member Associations (MAs) in four countries in West Africa conduct self-assessments of their capacity to improve access to and use of long-acting methods.


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