Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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reproductive health > newsfile

Global HIV prevalence has levelled off
New data show global HIV prevalence � the percentage of people living with HIV � has levelled off and that the number of new infections has fallen, in part as a result of the impact of HIV programmes. Improvements in surveillance have increased understanding of the epidemic, resulting in substantial revisions to estimates. ... more

New implants for family planning revealed
The next generation of contraceptive implants offer an extremely effective way to expand family planning choices for women and reduce the incidence of maternal mortality worldwide, according to a new report. ... more

Growing consensus on need for safe abortion
More than 700 public health experts, government representatives and activists from over 60 countries attended the first-ever global conference of its kind, on safe abortion, from 23-24 October in London. The conference renewed commitment and strengthened alliances for expanding access to safe abortion care worldwide. ... more

Maternal health conference ends on hopeful note
'Women Deliver', an international conference focusing on maternal and infant mortality, ended on 20 October in London. Twenty years after the launch of the Safe Motherhood Initiative in Kenya, the conference took place amid concerns that Millennium Development Goal Five, which aims to improve maternal health, may not be achieved. The United Nations goal is to reduce maternal mortality by 75 per cent between 1990 and 2015. But since then, more than 500,000 women worldwide have died annually from pregnancy and birth-related complications. ... more

Death toll in childbirth still remains high
Maternal mortality in the world is declining too slowly to meet one of the Millennium Development Goals, which aims to improve maternal health and prevent women from dying in pregnancy and childbirth or from causes related to childbirth. ... more

Abstinence-only programmes 'not working'
A robust systematic review has found no evidence that sexual abstinence programmes reduce risky sexual behaviours, incidence of sexually transmitted infections, or pregnancy. ... more

World Bank fights off moves to limit reproductive health services
Paul Wolfowitz has resigned from his position as President of the World Bank, but critics say that his appointees in the Bank remain in place, with potentially damaging consequences for developing countries, especially in the field of women's reproductive health This report from Thalif Deen of IPS was written before Wolfowitz's resignation was announced. ... more

Lancet highlights sexual and reproductive health
A new series � and campaign � on sexual and reproductive health in The Lancet aims to draw attention to an issue that has been "utterly marginalised" from the global conversation about health and wellbeing during the past decade, according to the Editor. ... more

Mothers and children dying needlessly, says report
The State of the World Mothers� Report 2006, published today, identifies female education, presence of a skilled attendant at birth and access to, and use of, family planning services, as the three areas most strongly associated with child survival and well-being. ... more

Vatican 'may relax condom rules'
The Vatican is preparing to publish a statement on the use of condoms by people who have Aids, a senior Roman Catholic official is reported to have said. However, later reports have thrown cold water on the idea that the church might relax its strict teaching on the use of 'artificial contraception' when condoms are used to prevent the spread of the Aids virus. ... more

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