lecture 7a reading---Glaiser+SRH+2006-1

lecture 7a reading---Glaiser+SRH+2006-1 - Series Sexual and...

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Series www.thelancet.com Vol 368 November 4, 2006 1595 Sexual and Reproductive Health 1 Sexual and reproductive health: a matter of life and death Anna Glasier, A Metin Gülmezoglu, George P Schmid, Claudia Garcia Moreno, Paul FA Van Look Despite the call for universal access to reproductive health at the 4th International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, sexual and reproductive health was omitted from the Millennium Development Goals and remains neglected (panel 1). Unsafe sex is the second most important risk factor for disability and death in the world’s poorest communities and the ninth most important in developed countries. Cheap eF ective interventions are available to prevent unintended pregnancy, provide safe abortions, help women safely through pregnancy and child birth, and prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections. Yet every year, more than 120 million couples have an unmet need for contraception, 80 million women have unintended pregnancies (45 million of which end in abortion), more than half a million women die from complications associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, and 340 million people acquire new gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, or trichomonas infections. Sexual and reproductive ill-health mostly aF ects women and adolescents. Women are disempowered in much of the developing world and adolescents, arguably, are disempowered everywhere. Sexual and reproductive health services are absent or of poor quality and underused in many countries because discussion of issues such as sexual intercourse and sexuality make people feel uncomfortable. The increasing infl uence of conservative political, religious, and cultural forces around the world threatens to undermine progress made since 1994, and arguably provides the best example of the detrimental intrusion of politics into public health. The international community has been concerned about population growth for more than a century. In 1994, at the most recent of a series of UN conferences devoted to population, delegates from the governments of 179 countries and more than 1200 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) met in Cairo at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and agreed a 20-year programme of action to improve sexual and reproductive health, foster reproductive rights, and stabilise the world’s population. 1 Unlike previous population conferences, the Cairo conference refl ected the growing awareness that population, poverty, health, education, patterns of production and consumption, and the environment are all inextricably linked. Although these links now seem obvious, at the time this awareness represented a major shift in attitude towards population growth. Another major shift in attitudes was in the 15 guiding principles underpinning the programme of action, which incorporated several universally recognised human Lancet 2006; 368: 1595–607 Published Online November 1, 2006 DOI:10.1016/S0140- 6736(06)69478-6 See Comment page 1550 This is the f rst in a Series oF six articles about sexual and
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lecture 7a reading---Glaiser+SRH+2006-1 - Series Sexual and...

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