News & Views

Media Coverage

Female Health Workers Boost Family Planning in Bangladesh

In Matlab, Bangladesh in the 1970s, an experiment that used female community health workers to provide doorstep delivery of family planning services led to dramatic improvements in maternal and child health, increased contraceptive use, and a rapid decline in fertility. The program was so successful that it was expanded across the country, with extensive technical assistance and support from the Population Council.

"Matlab showed us the way," says Ubaidur Rob, the Council’s Bangladesh country director, in a new Guardian article by Kenneth Weiss that details the success and scale-up of the Matlab project. 

NICHD’s Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher Delivers Second Annual Sheldon J. Segal Lecture at Rockefeller University

On May 12th, Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), delivered a special lecture at Rockefeller University, where the Population Council’s Center for Biomedical Research is located.

“The Human Genome: Opportunities for Contraceptive Research?” hosted by the Population Council, was the second annual event in honor of the late Sheldon J. Segal, an authority on global population, family planning, reproductive and maternal health, and contraception.

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Press Releases

New Population Council Research Presented at 13th European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health Annual Congress

Highlights Include Studies on Male Contraception, an Investigational One-Year Contraceptive Vaginal Ring, and Approaches to Green Contraception

LISBON, PORTUGAL (31 May 2014) — This week, the Population Council presented new research at the 13th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health. Presentations included a pharmacokinetic analysis of the Council’s investigational one-year contraceptive vaginal ring containing Nestorone® and ethinyl estradiol, and its investigational male contraceptive implant MENT®, as well as new approaches to “green contraception,” including strategies to ensure that future contraceptive technologies are both effective and protect the environment. 

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Media Coverage

Improve Schooling Opportunities and Delay Child Marriage

A new post on the World Bank’s Education for Global Development blog mentions Berhane Hewan, a successful Population Council program in Ethiopia that has helped delay marriage and increase school enrollment by providing incentives to families who send their daughters to school.

Council Commentary

Celebrating Mother’s Day: Nurturing Maternal and Infant Health by Promoting Family Planning

On Mother’s Day, I think about the profound bond that’s formed between mothers and their infants. It begins in pregnancy (or even before) as a woman dreams about the baby she will have. At the time of birth, especially in the first hour and through the next weeks and months, the attachment takes hold as the new mother welcomes her baby and responds to his or her needs. It is a bond for life.

Throughout this process, a mother’s health influences her baby’s health, and optimizing a mother’s health begins before pregnancy. When planning her family, a woman may need to consider many factors, including whether she is emotionally, physically, and financially ready for a pregnancy. Being able to access a variety of safe and effective contraceptives and information about family planning is the first step toward safeguarding a woman’s health and that of her future baby.

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Press Releases

Population Council to Present More Than 25 Studies at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America

Research Highlights the Impact of Safe Spaces Initiatives for Improving Girls’ Lives, Strategies for Expanding Access to Family Planning, and a Look at Mortality Projections

NEW YORK (30 April 2014) — The Population Council, an international organization that conducts research to address critical health and development issues, will present findings from more than 25 studies at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America in Boston, MA (1–3 May 2014).

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Council Commentary

Responding to Rana Plaza: A Made-in-Bangladesh Boycott Won’t Help Girls

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh a year ago killed more than 1,000 people and injured more than 2,500. Many of those injured and killed were migrant adolescent girls who were employed in a garment factory in the building. The tragedy drew attention to safety issues at Bangladesh garment factories and led some to call for boycotts of clothing made in Bangladesh.

Council researcher Sajeda Amin argues against a boycott, calling it a significant step back for the rights and livelihoods of girls and women, whose lives have been transformed by the opportunity to work. “Earning a wage helps young women prepare for a variety of life scenarios, balancing long-term and short-term goals,” Amin says in a blog on The Guardian’s adolescent girls hub. “Rather than risk the gains made by young women in Bangladesh, which were facilitated in large part by the garment industry, I recommend supporting initiatives that build upon these gains and expand opportunities for girls and young women.”

Council Commentary

Capitol Hill Briefing: Public Health Impact of Emerging Laws in Africa on the Possibility of an AIDS-Free Generation

Through PEPFAR and other US Government funding, significant progress has been made in slowing the spread of HIV and AIDS throughout Africa. However, US progress toward creating an AIDS-free future may be compromised by anti-LGBT laws recently passed in Uganda and Nigeria. These laws further marginalize populations at the highest risk of HIV infection  rendering them even harder to reach with prevention, care, and treatment services. The potential impact on the HIV epidemic is considerable.

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Population Briefs

Estimating the Size of Key Populations in Nairobi, Kenya

Estimating the Size of Key Populations in Nairobi, Kenya
Photo credit: Ivan Mateev

A team of researchers, including three from the Population Council, have developed estimates of the sizes of three key populations at risk for HIV infection in Nairobi, Kenya: men who have sex with men, female sex workers, and people who inject drugs. These estimates are among the first solid data on the size of these populations in Nairobi, providing practitioners with evidence to inform the development of programs that meet the needs of these vulnerable groups.

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