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Thursday, 14th of April 2011 Print

From the UNFPA homepage:


‘MDG 4: Reduce child mortality

‘Family planning prevents unintended pregnancies. Unwanted children are more prone to illness and premature death. Family planning can also promote birth spacing, which increases a child's chances of surviving the first years of life. Also, where resources are limited, children in large families may be deprived of nutrition, medical care and attention.

‘Screening pregnant women for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and providing them with the appropriate medicine and treatment can prevent infant illness, disability and death.

‘Empowering adolescent girls to delay pregnancy can prevent many newborn deaths. Babies born to adolescents face much higher mortality rates compared to women who have reached physical maturity.

‘MDG 5: Improve maternal health

‘For women in the reproductive age (15-49 years), reproductive health problems constitute the leading cause of ill health and death. And because women are often the backbones of their families, these problems can affect the well-being of the whole family.

‘Universal access to family planning; access to pre- and antenatal care; skilled attendance at all births; and timely emergency obstetric care when complications arise can prevent almost all maternal mortality and greatly reduce injuries of childbearing.

‘Access to family planning alone can reduce unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion and maternal death and disability, saving women's lives and the lives of their children. Access to family planning can also allow women to better space their births, which increases the mother's chances of surviving childbirth.

‘Elimination of child marriage reduces the risks associated with too-early childbearing. Very young women face significant health risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

‘Maternal health care can also be an important entry point to other health services. A 'continuum of care' approach to the full range of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health concerns can ensure better health overall and more effective integration of services.’