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Center for Reproductive Rights Releases 2011 Map Of World's Abortion Laws

The Center for Reproductive Rights has released its online World’s Abortion Laws map for 2011. The center has produced the map since 1998 “to visually compare the legal status of induced abortion in different countries — and to advocate for greater progress in ensuring access to safe and legal abortion services…

Al Jazeera Examines Maternal Mortality In Afghanistan

Al Jazeera examines maternal mortality in Afghanistan, which “remains one of the worst places to be a mother,” 10 years after the beginning of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and “[d]espite billions of dollars in aid and considerable progress.” In an accompanying video, the news service reports, “One in five children born in Afghanistan dies by the age of five, and the statistics for mothers aren’t good either.”

The Guardian Examines China's One-Child Policy

The Guardian examines China’s one-child policy and its impact. The newspaper writes that “the description of the system as a ‘one-child policy’ is misleading. Most married women in China have the chance to bear two offspring, but the entitlement to breed beyond a solitary child is determined by a complex set of rules” and factors. In fact, the policy’s “countless adjustments over the past 30 years have created a mind-bogglingly complex system that touches on everything from contraception and sterilization to pensions and tax incentives,” according to the Guardian. The newspaper notes that “across all of China, the government claims there would be more than 300 million more children without the family planning policy” and that “the nation’s population is forecast to peak around 2030,” leading “many [to] say the family planning policy had outlived its usefulness.” It also describes the policy’s effects in Henan Province, which “claims some of the greatest successes in taming demographic growth through its family planning policies” (Watts 10/25).

Opinion Pieces Respond To U.N. Special Rapporteur's Report On Reproductive Health Policies

Several opinion pieces respond to a report (.pdf) presented on Monday to the U.N. General Assembly by Arnand Grover, U.N. special rapporteur for the Right to Health, that “considers the impact of criminal and other legal restrictions on abortion; conduct during pregnancy; contraception and family planning; and the provision of sexual and reproductive education and information,” according to the report summary. The report also states, “Realization of the right to health requires the removal of barriers that interfere with individual decision-making on health-related issues and with access to health services, education and information, in particular on health conditions that only affect women and girls. In cases where a barrier is created by a criminal law or other legal restriction, it is the obligation of the State to remove it” (8/3).

Public-Private Partnerships Reduce Redundancies In Maternal, Newborn Health Programs

In this post on USAID’s “IMPACTblog,” Amanda Makulec, a monitoring and evaluation associate with John Snow Inc., discusses “the Alliance for Reproductive, Maternal, and Newborn Health, which was born over a year ago to support progress towards MDGs four and five in 10 priority countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia,…

Zambia's Increasing Population May Pose Challenges

In his BBC News column, medical correspondent Fergus Walsh examines maternal health, fertility, myths surrounding contraception, and gender equality in Zambia, which “has one of the world’s fastest growing populations.” With the nation’s population expected to triple to 39 million people by 2050 and reach 100 million by 2100, “[t]he potential problem for Zambia is that the population increase is so rapid that the government may struggle to keep pace. Those under 16 need education, healthcare and homes but they are not yet contributing to the economy. Zambia can barely feed 13 million people so how will it cope in the future?” Walsh writes (10/24).

Tenofovir Gel Confirmed To Be Effective Against Herpes In Lab Experiment, Study Shows

Data from lab experiments published online by the journal Cell Host and Microbes last week show that the gel form of the antiretroviral tenofovir, which is being investigated as an HIV prevention method, works to inhibit the reproduction of herpes virus in tonsil and cervical tissue, the New York Times reports.

Together For Girls Partnership Works To End Sexual Violence

In this post on the State Department’s “DipNote” blog, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby writes about the Together for Girls Partnership, an initiative that “generates a powerful advocacy platform to stop sexual violence by supporting countries’ efforts to fully understand and cope with the scope of the epidemic.”…

University Kicks Off Campaign To Collect Mobile Phones To Help Fund Maternal Health Programs In Congo, Nepal

On Tuesday at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Chelsea Clinton, board member of the William J. Clinton Foundation, and Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts, helped launch the GW + Phones = Hope campaign, which is “working with the national nonprofit Hope Phones to collect phones to benefit maternal health programs in Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal,” the “GW Hatchet” blog reports (Ferris, 10/18).

IRIN Examines Improvements In Maternal, Infant Mortality Indicators In Myanmar

IRIN examines maternal and child health in “conflict-afflicted eastern Myanmar, [where] until recently obstetric care was often crude, unsterile and dangerous for both mother and child, health experts say.” To address high rates of maternal and infant mortality in the region, “in 2005 several CBOs, the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins University, and the Global Health Access Program launched the Mobile Obstetric Medics (MOM) project — dramatically boosting access to care,” IRIN writes.