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This first annual report of the ‘Survey of Modern Contraceptives and Essential Life-Saving Maternal and Reproductive Health Medicines in Service Delivery Points’ in Sierra Leone is part of the new reporting system of the Global Programme on Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS). The survey was undertaken to provide benchmark data information which are essential for sound Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS) planning and for making administrative and policy decisions about the same. Three outcome indicators in the reporting framework were assessed to obtain data for country level indicators.

 

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CARMMA, the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa, is an initiative of the African Union Commission to curb the continentally-high pregnancy-related deaths. Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is the number of pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births - or the number of women who die during pregnancy or within 42 days of delivery or termination, per 100,000 live births during that year. Globally, there are over 358,000 maternal deaths each year and Africa accounts for more than half (53 per cent).

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This document presents UNFPA's Strategic Framework on Gender Mainstreaming and the Empowerment of Women. It reflect lessons learned from a 2008-2009 capacity assessment exercise, as well as the need for an increased focus on gender in the context of addressing the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development. The Framework outlines UNFPA's policy and programme priorities for the empowerment of women and girls and for incorporating a gender perspective across the organization's work.

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Sierra Leone has a population of about 5.7 million, with an annual growth rate of 1.8 per cent and a doubling time of only 37 years. The high proportion of youths in the population has set in motion a high growth inertia for the coming generation, even if the fertility rate were to slow down to a normal replacement level. This is reinforced by entrenched socio-cultural stereotypes that favour large family sizes. 

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While Africa has generally made positive progress towards achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), performance has been mixed across indicators and countries. Recent food, fuel and financial crises, coupled with threats from climate change and instability in North Africa, are likely to affect the region's MDG achievement. Based on current trends, the continent's overall pace of progress is insufficient to achieve the goals by the target date of 2015.

 

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In response to increasing acknowledgement of the importance of engaging men and boys within gender equality and HIV work, Sonke was commissioned by the UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, to carry out a desk review of HIV and AIDS National Strategic Plans (NSPs), analysing the extent to which they commit to working with men and boys for gender equality and in relation to HIV and AIDS.
 

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In October 2011, UNFPA, UNAIDS, SFH and a number of Namibian sex worker organizations conducted a series of rapid assessments on sex work and HIV in five towns in Namibia. The aims of the rapid assessment project were to engage sex workers in assessing barriers to HIV prevention and treatment and proposing relevant solutions in five towns in Namibia; to build the capacity of sex worker leaders and organizations at national and local levels; and to demonstrate good practice in community participation and empowerment approaches.

 

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This report provides overall guidance and a cohesive Fund-wide response for implementing the Reproductive Health and Rights elements of the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2008-2011. The framework builds on the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development,1994; the Millennium Summit, 2000, with its adoption of the Millennium Development Goals; the 2005 World Summit; and the addition, in 2007, of the goal of universal access to reproductive health to MDG 5, for improving maternal health.

 

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Read this special pull-out supplement to the Mail & Guardian Newspaper of 28 October 2011 on a public debate on whether adolescents have the right to sex. Produced by the UNFPA South Africa Country Office and its South African partners National Youth Development Agency, Love Life, SANAC Women's Sector and Soul City.

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The health sector in Rwanda has made significant progress in recent years. Reproductive health, including family planning and maternal health, is a priority in the Ministry of Health Strategic Plan. The fight against maternal deaths is a concern in Rwanda and registers as one of Rwanda's MDG priorities.

 

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