Image credit: REUTERS/ Ho New
London, 3rd August 2011: Marie Stopes International is deeply concerned by the growing famine in the Horn of Africa. Whilst there is an immediate need for food, water, shelter and basic healthcare, Marie Stopes International urges the international community to incorporate reproductive health into the humanitarian response.
During times of crisis, risks to reproductive health increase dramatically: without emergency obstetric care women and children die needlessly from complications during pregnancy and childbirth; sexual and gender based violence often intensifies; the transmission rates for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections can quickly rise with limited access to condoms; and with family planning services often unavailable, unplanned and unintended pregnancies also increase, as does unsafe abortion.
Further, Marie Stopes International welcomes recent statements by the Executive Director of UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin
calling for greater access to voluntary family planning as part of comprehensive efforts to prevent future tragedies in parts of the world where the land struggles to support human life.
Marie Stopes International is proud to be a member of the Reproductive Health Response in Crisis (RHRC) Consortium, a group of organisations dedicated to the promotion of reproductive health among all persons affected by crisis. You can read their statement on the famine here
We are exploring ways in which we can build on our major country programmes in Ethiopia and Kenya to support efforts in the affected region and ensure lifesaving reproductive health services and supplies – including voluntary family planning – are not forgotten.
For more information, please contact
020 3219 8005
020 3219 8010
07769 166 516