News Archives

Women, Child Suffer Most as Conflict Hampers Health Services in Balochistan

Business World - Balochistan, Pakistan, 1/31/2021

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Aga Khan University, the maternal and child health services in the conflict-hit parts of Balochistan are severely affected due to insecurity, unavailability of staff, and damage to healthcare facilities. The study consisted of a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the provision of reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition services comparing coverage in districts facing minimal, moderate and severe levels of conflict. Researchers found significantly lower levels of contraceptive use, facility delivery, exclusive breastfeeding, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccinations. The study also found incidents of harassment, target killings, security threats and kidnappings of the health workforce, specifically polio workers, in conflict-hit areas.

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Delay Pregnancy Until Two Months After Taking Covid-19 Vaccine, Caution Indian Health Experts

News18, India, 1/30/2021

As vaccines are being rolled out in India in phases, gynaecologists and fertility experts in India have urged people to delay planning a pregnancy until two months after they get the vaccine against Covid-19. On the other hand, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it doesn’t recommend pregnancy testing before vaccination, nor does it recommend delaying pregnancy following vaccination. This comes a day after the WHO recommended against the use of the vaccine during pregnancy except in those at high risk of exposure or having a severe case. The Centre has confirmed that pregnant and lactating women have not been part of any clinical trial and should not receive the vaccine.

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Myntra Changes Logo After Complaint Calls Signage Offensive to Women

The Hindu, India, 1/30/2021

E-commerce firm Myntra has decided to change its logo after a complaint was lodged with the Mumbai Cyber police alleging it to be insulting and offensive towards women. The complaint was lodged by Naaz Patel of NGO Avesta Foundation in December, 2020, demanding removal of the logo by Myntra and appropriate action against the firm. "We found that the logo was offensive in nature for women. Following the complaint, we sent an email to Myntra and their officials came and met us. The officials said they will change the logo in a month's time," said DCP Rashmi Karandikar, Cyber Crime Department of Mumbai police. Myntra said they would revise their logo on their website, app as well as on all packaging material.

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Six Million Women and Girls on Contraception in Kenya - Report

The Star, Kenya, 1/28/2021

According to a new report, at least six million women and girls in Kenya are using modern contraception to prevent pregnancy. Since 2020, women and girls prevented at least 2.2 million unintended pregnancies and averted 503,000 unsafe abortions. The report titled ‘The FP2020: The arc of progress’ revealed that in total, 57.8% of married women in Kenya are on modern family planning methods. However, the prevalence rate dropped to 42.5% when all women including single girls were factored. Kenya was among the first countries to commit to the FP2020 partnership when it launched in 2012. Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020 said, “The FP2020 partnership has bent the curve of progress sharply upward and responded with the strength to Covid-19.”

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Thailand Backs Amendment Allowing Early-Stage Abortions

CNN - Bangkok, Thailand, 1/27/2021

Lawmakers in Thailand have voted in favour of allowing abortions upto 12 weeks of pregnancy while retaining penalties for later terminations, a move that pro-choice activists said fell short of protecting the rights of pregnant women. Legislators voted 166-7 in favour of amending a law that criminalises abortion, and backing a plan that seeks to tackle unregulated terminations by non-medical practitioners. The amendment was passed by the lower house and follows a constitutional court decision in February, 2020 that said that criminalising abortion was unconstitutional and violated human rights. Under the new criteria, abortion beyond 12 weeks will be allowed under select conditions such as danger to the life of the pregnant woman, or if a pregnancy was the result of rape.

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