Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Pacific Faces Condom And Contraceptive Crisis

Pacific Faces Condom And Contraceptive Crisis

The shortage of contraceptives and other family planning, maternity and sexual health supplies in the Pacific will be the focus of a high level meeting involving several Commonwealth and Pacific Health Ministers, Pacific policy makers and NGO’s in Auckland this week.

Organised by the Commonwealth Medical Association Trust, Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the meeting draws together policy and decision makers concerned with ensuring that reproductive health supplies like condoms, forceps and diagnostic kits are available.

New Zealand Minister of Health, Hon Annette King, who will open the three-day forum, says that without reproductive health supplies, there cannot be effective family planning programmes nor urgently needed programmes to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“Access to these supplies is a basic human right and failure to make them available puts lives at risk – particularly considering significant and worrying rates of HIV infection in the Pacific.”

Ms King said other factors that increased the Pacific’s risk in relation to the shortages of supplies are a high rate of population growth in many Pacific countries, particularly where much of the population is aged under 15 years of age. There is also the additional challenge of delivery of services and supplies to people in isolated areas.

“We know from the rest of the world’s experience that the countries that have been most successful in reducing poverty have also done the most in reducing high levels of population growth by meeting reproductive health needs.”

Ms King said donors like UNFPA and the International Planned Parenthood Federation had provided over 40 percent of the total contraceptive requirements from 1992 to 1996. That support had declined since United States funding cuts and in 2000, donors met only 27 percent of the total estimated requirements.

“That shortfall needs to be met and I will be urging the delegates at this forum to take that message home to their respective governments, and for donor countries to remember the commitments that they have already given through the United Nations Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (Cairo agreement).”

Family Planning Association Executive Director, Dr Gill Greer, who is also participating in the forum said that without access to affordable, appropriate contraceptives such as condoms and other supplies in the Pacific Islands, women face the increased possibility of unplanned pregnancies and related health problems. There was also the very real risk of a dramatic increase in HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.

New Zealand and other Pacific countries renewed their commitment to the Cairo Plan of Action in Bangkok in December, committing themselves to addressing population and development issues like access to reproductive health services and supplies.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news