“We’ve made great progress on maternal health in many areas of the world, but our leaders need to realize that this issue is at the core of global development, economic well-being, and even national security. When women survive, families and societies thrive.” — Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, speaking at the Women Deliver Conference in Washington DC on June 2010
A full sexual and reproductive health package includes:
- Family planning/birth spacing services;
- Antenatal care, skilled attendance at delivery, and postnatal care;
- Management of obstetric and neonatal complications and emergencies;
- Prevention of abortion and management of complications resulting from unsafe abortion;
- Prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS;
- Early diagnosis and treatment for breast and cervical cancer;
- Promotion, education and support for exclusive breast feeding;
- Prevention and appropriate treatment of sub-fertility and infertility;
- Active discouragement of harmful practices such as female genital cutting;
- Adolescent sexual and reproductive health;
- Prevention and management of gender-based violence.
Reproductive health (RH) is defined as a state of physical, mental, and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system, at all stages of life. Everyone has the right to enjoy reproductive health, which is the basis for having healthy children, intimate relationships and happy families.
Reproductive health encompasses key areas of the UNFPA vision: that every child is wanted; every birth is safe; every young person is free of HIV; and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
Egypt has achieved remarkable progress with respect to its national health indicators over the past decades. Availability of basic health services is almost universal. Ninety-five percent of the population is now living within 5km of primary health centers.
The results of the 2008 EDHS
show that several key reproductive health indicators including antenatal care coverage, medical assistance at delivery, and infant and child mortality have improved. The survey also found that family planning use is rising and fertility is continuing to decline although at a slow pace.
UNFPA Egypt supports Egypt through the Family Planning Sector of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and through the promotion and establishment of Youth-Friendly Clinics with different partners. More specifically, UNFPA Egypt offers support in the following areas:
- Supporting the MoH in its efforts to strengthen the reproductive health impact of the Family Health Model by creating a number of model districts where quality integrated reproductive health care services are not only available and accessible, but where local communities are also supportive of the local health care system and familiar with the available reproductive health services and key concepts of their personal reproductive health;
- Supporting the MoH in updating and operationalizing the national Reproductive Health-Contraceptive Security strategy, improving the capacity of Family Planning staff at the governorate level, strengthening the role of the private sector and NGOs to undertake new and innovative approaches in contraceptive provision, enhancing national capacity in the areas of management, planning and monitoring, advocating for provision of a separate budget line for RH commodities in the MoH budget;
- Strengthening the capacity of specialized hospitals and NGOs to provide quality reproductive health services and information for young people, while enhancing the skills of service providers to be able to address the needs of young people for RH information and services;
- Supporting the National Council for Human Rights and the MoH in providing capacity building for advocacy leaders (policy makers, religious leaders, health professionals and media personnel) on reproductive rights and gender issues as basic human rights, while providing capacity building for health service providers on reproductive rights and gender issues, on the central and on the governorate level.
Reproductive Health is a core area for UNFPA, as well as a priority for the Egyptian Government. UNFPA strives to support a sound RH policy that promotes access to quality RH services to broaden the opportunities of women and men to enjoy healthy lives.