May 13, 2011

Re “Mothers We Could Save” (column New York Times, May 8)

AUTHOR:Harry Strulovici, MD, MPHSOURCE:NY Times

Nicholas D. Kristof is totally correct regarding the unmet need for family planning that exists in developing countries. In Uganda, which has the highest fertility rate in Africa at almost seven births per woman, family planning does not reach the rural population (about 90 percent of the country) .

Unless the community gets behind these initiatives and encourages male participation, mothers and newborns will continue to die unnecessarily. Governments and nongovernmental organizations must push to integrate these programs with H.I.V. services to strengthen health systems.

Next week at the Global Summit of Parliamentarians in Paris the focus will be on girls and population. Education level directly correlates with whether a young woman uses family planning. Let’s hope that the completion of secondary school for girls is made a priority and can lead to women being informed about reproductive choices and empowerment. Here is the link to article:

Did you know?

Every year, more than one million children are left motherless and vulnerable because of maternal death.

Source:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 2010

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