News & Views

From Our Partners

UNFPA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Boost Family Planning in Developing Countries

UNFPA and the Gates Foundation announced a partnership to help expand access to long-acting, reversible contraceptives such as injectables and implants. The organizations will use mobile and information technologies and social media to expand method choice and availability and address social, cultural, and gender barriers to family planning information, contraceptives, and services, particularly for young people. Read the release on the FP2020 website.

Press Releases

Animal Study Provides First Evidence that Gel Can Prevent Multiple Virus Transmission in Both Vagina and Rectum

NEW YORK (17 April 2014) — Population Council scientists and their partners have found that their proprietary microbicide gel is safe, stable, and can prevent the transmission of multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in both the vagina and rectum in animals: HIV, herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), and human papillomavirus (HPV). The USAID-funded study also provides the first data that the gel is effective against multiple strains of HIV, and has a window of efficacy in the vagina against all three viruses of at least eight hours prior to exposure. A Phase 1 safety trial of the gel is set to begin enrollment in May 2014.

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Council Commentary

Now: Levonorgestrel IUS Available in Afghanistan

Now: Levonorgestrel IUS Available in Afghanistan
Photo credit: American Medical Overseas Relief (AMOR)

In 2003, Population Council and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals teamed up to create the International Contraceptive Access (ICA) Foundation—a collaboration working to meet the reproductive needs of women in resource-poor settings, primarily in developing countries. Working with local service-delivery organizations, the Foundation provides the Council-developed LNG IUS (levonorgestrel releasing intrauterine system)—a long-acting reversible hormonal contraceptive method—on a not-for-profit basis to selected public-sector organizations. Since December 2012, nearly 50,000 LNG IUS have been delivered.

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Council Commentary

Excess Risk of Maternal Mortality in Adolescent Mothers: Less Than Previously Believed?

A recent analysis by Andrea Nove and colleagues in Lancet Global Health is consistent with an analysis by Population Council vice president Ann Blanc and colleagues, both of which found that the excess mortality risk faced by mothers aged 15–19 years might be “less than previously believed.” In a letter to the editor of Lancet Global Health, Blanc reminds the maternal health community that “the evidence for evidence-based policymaking should hold up under scrutiny and that facts are not facts by virtue of frequent repetition.”

Media Coverage

Intimate Partner Violence in India: Backlash Against Accomplished Women

Women in India who have more education than their husbands, who earn more, or who are the sole earners in their families have a higher likelihood of experiencing frequent and severe intimate partner violence than women who are not employed or who are less educated than their spouse, according to a study just published in the Council’s journal, Population and Development Review. Don’t miss coverage of this study by the The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Reuters.

Press Releases

New Study from Population and Development Review Finds That Indian Women with More Resources than Their Husbands Face Heightened Risk of Violence

"Women's and Men's Relative Status and Intimate Partner Violence in India," by Abigail Weitzman

NEW YORK (25 March 2014) — A new study has found that women in India who have more education than their husbands, who earn more, or who are the sole earners in their families have a higher likelihood of experiencing frequent and severe intimate partner violence (IPV) than women who are not employed or who are less educated than their spouse. The article is included in the latest issue of Population and Development Review, a journal published by the Population Council.

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From Our Partners

When Words Aren’t Enough: Who’s Holding Governments Accountable on Rights?

Population Action International’s (PAI) advocacy associate, Kim Ocheltree, blogged about a panel event organized by the Population Council on human rights-based approaches to family planning. The panel was moderated by Council vice president John Townsend. Speakers included the Council’s Karen Hardee, as well as Pamela Barnes (President and CEO, EngenderHealth), Suzanne Ehlers (President and CEO, PAI), and Françoise Girard (President, International Women’s Health Coalition). A conceptual framework encouraging voluntary family planning programs to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights (developed by The Futures Group and EngenderHealth, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) was published in the Population Council journal, Studies in Family Planning, and can be accessed here.

Press Releases

Voluntary, Human Rights-Based Family Planning: A Conceptual Framework

New Article in Studies in Family Planning by Karen Hardee, Jan Kumar, Karen Newman, Lynn Bakamjian, Shannon Harris, Mariela Rodríguez, and Win Brown

NEW YORK (21 March 2014) — Leaders from diverse organizations in the family planning field published a conceptual framework encouraging voluntary family planning programs to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights.

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Media Coverage

Pakistan: Better Reproductive Health Care Urgently Needed

The Council’s research on safe postabortion care in Pakistan is featured in an article about the importance of providing comprehensive abortion care, including contraceptive services, in a country where 700,000 unsafe abortions occur every year. The article also notes that access to quality family planning services must be made more widely available, particularly in rural and underserved areas. Read the article in the Daily Times.