Health News of 2014-07-18

‘Include sexual reproductive health in post 2015 health agenda’

African Leaders have been advised to ensure that Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHRs) are fused into the post-2015 world health agenda.

According to Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, a human right activist, the group working on the Post-2015 world agenda (Sustainable Development Goals), had sidelined reproductive health issues, which sought the interest and benefits of African countries.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Sunyani on Thursday, Mr Ahenu, Chief Executive Officer of Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), a rights based media advocacy Non-Governmental Organisation, said though the SRHRs was mentioned under Gender in the post-2015 health agenda, it had been shelved.

“Per the draft report released so far by the group, it is clear that issues concerning SRHRs which include family planning, maternal mortality and essential medicines, were taken out of the health goal,” he said.

Mr Ahenu noted with regret that maternal mortality, diseases, and uncontrolled child birth were great challenges that confronted the African continent, and it would be ungrateful if world leaders sat unconcerned and allowed the SRHRs, which sought to address all these challenges be suspended from the sustainable development goals.

He observed that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) did not cover the SRHRs and family planning hence most African countries could not achieve MDGs Four and Five.

Mr Ahenu said as a result, funding for family planning dropped drastically in 2001-2002 and contributed to high maternal mortality in that period.

“When the universal access to reproductive health was introduced in 2007 as a target under MDG 5b, there was a slight decrease in maternal mortality and child morbidity,” he added.

Mr Ahenu noted that 222 million women worldwide were denied family planning services and that was why there was the need to fuse SRHRs into the sustainable development goals.

This, he added, would not only improve health outcomes, but also strengthen societies and facilitate rapid economic growth and development.

“The African continent would not benefit if certain changes are not made in the post 2015 agenda,” he cautioned.

Source: GNA
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