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Council Commentary

Population Council Hosts UK Secretary of State in Zambia

Population Council Hosts UK Secretary of State in Zambia
Photo credit: Natalie Jackson/Population Council

On Wednesday, July 9th, the Right Honorable Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State for International Development, visited with girls participating in the Population Council’s Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP). AGEP is designed to find the best ways to improve girls’ social, health, and economic resources so that they can stay in school longer; avoid early marriage; delay sexual activity; and prevent unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs. The project is led and being evaluated by the Population Council.

Later in the day, the Secretary of State delivered the keynote speech at Zambia’s regional symposium on ending child marriage. In her speech, she pledged UK support to lead international efforts to end child marriage within a generation.

The Council’s Ethiopia country director Annabel Erulkar is presenting at the symposium, which is taking place in advance of the UK’s Girl Summit 2014 in London on July 22nd.

Press Releases

New Study from Population and Development Review Finds Flaws in Mortality Projections in Low-Mortality Countries; Pension and Health Costs May Be Higher than Estimated

"Trends in Causes of Death in Low-Mortality Countries: Implications for Mortality Projections," by John Bongaarts

NEW YORK (30 June 2014) — A new study by demographer John Bongaarts, Population Council Vice President and Distinguished Scholar, has found that mortality projections from most low-mortality countries are more pessimistic than they should be. The reason for this flaw is that existing projections fail to recognize that fewer people smoke today than used to. As a result, there will be a future decline in smoking-related mortality. This suggests that with more people living longer, pension and health care costs in coming decades will likely be higher than previously estimated.

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Press Releases

Global Family Planning, Climate, and Investment Experts Join Population Council Board of Trustees

NEW YORK (25 June 2014) — The Population Council announces the appointment of three new board members: Marc Saiontz, managing director at American Securities; Theo Spencer, senior advocate in the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Amy Ong Tsui, professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and senior scholar at the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.

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Press Releases

Studies in Family Planning Publishes Special Issue on Unmet Need

June Issue Explores Challenges in Addressing Unmet Need for Contraception, Featuring Research and Case Studies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America

NEW YORK (16 June 2014) — Studies in Family Planning, a leading journal published by the Population Council, released “Unmet Need for Family Planning”—a special issue featuring ten articles, including a comprehensive introduction to the topic of unmet need. Distinguished researchers explore trends related to unmet need for contraception, and many articles point to practical strategies for increasing contraceptive knowledge and uptake, and for overcoming barriers that prevent women from practicing contraception.

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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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