7 Billion reasons to invest in reproductive health

Posted on | oktober 27, 2011 | No Comments

Reproductive health is often given a lower priority when factoring aid and development costs, however the failure to secure the health of females and their unborn children can destabilize economies and harm already strained healthcare systems.  It is clear that a larger focus must be placed on reproductive and maternal health to increase stability and sustainability in developing nations.

On October 31, the world’s population is expected to reach 7 billion people.

In recognition of this milestone, UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth released the following statement  calling for investment in international reproductive health and voluntary family planning as a means to achieving progress on all of the Millennium Development Goals.

“In a world of 7 billion, it is more important than ever that we address fundamental issues of poverty and inequality. We know that investing in women’s reproductive health and voluntary family planning is one of the most cost-effective means to tackling our most pressing global development challenges.

Today there are 215 million women who want the ability to prevent pregnancy, but lack access to quality reproductive health care and voluntary family planning. Meeting this demand would have numerous benefits — not least of which is saving lives. Pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death among young women in developing countries. If the demand for family planning were met, maternal mortality would decrease by 32 percent, and infant mortality by 10 percent.

Empowering women with the tools they need not only improves their health and ability to raise stronger, healthier families, but it also promotes more prosperous and stable societies, resource and food security, and environmental sustainability.

Let’s be clear — investing in women and girls is one of the smartest investments that we can make. As we mark this milestone, we must ensure that women and girls are at the top of the global agenda, because the investments we make today will have a multiplier effect across all of the Millennium Development Goals, dramatically improving the lives of the next generation.”

Investing in women and girls is undoubtedly a “smart investment” and health education and empowerment should not be taken lightly as a key to sustainable development.

AUTHOR: Cassandra Clifford
URL: www.bridgetofreedomfoundation.org and http://children.foreignpolicyblogs.com
E-MAIL: Cassandra [at] btff.org

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