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Global Investment, Health Experts Join Population Council Board of Trustees

The Population Council announces the appointment of two board members, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Robert Harding Inaugural Chair in Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and founding director of the Center for Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, Karachi; and Darcy Bradbury, managing director of the D. E. Shaw group. Bhutta and Bradbury will assume their roles on July 1, 2015.

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Global Leaders Gather in Lusaka to Discuss Progress and Challenges in Reproductive Health, HIV, and Gender-based Violence

Global Leaders Gather in Lusaka to Discuss Progress and Challenges in Reproductive Health, HIV, and Gender-based Violence

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (9 April 2015) — National and global health leaders gathered in Lusaka for Ideas with Impact: Working in Partnership to Save Lives in Zambia, a Population Council symposium on the latest efforts to improve lives and protect health for women, men, and adolescents.

The symposium brought together more than 100 government officials, researchers, policymakers, development partners, community members, and civil society from all provinces in Zambia for a full day of information-sharing and debate on the latest scientific progress in addressing the country’s complex socioeconomic challenges, including high rates of HIV, limited access to maternal and reproductive health resources, and gender-based violence.

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Population and Development Review: “Childbearing within Marriage and Consensual Union in Latin America, 1980–2010”

Population and Development Review: “Childbearing within Marriage and Consensual Union in Latin America, 1980–2010”
Photo credit: © 2012 Paola Roblesgil Photography

New Study from Population and Development Review Finds that Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing Has Become Increasingly Common among Highly Educated Women in 13 Latin American Countries

NEW YORK (18 March 2015) — “Consensual unions”—two people living in the same dwelling in a relationship akin to marriage—have been an integral part of family life in Latin America for centuries. In fact, in Latin America, legal marriages and consensual unions are seen as similarly acceptable family arrangements for bearing and raising children. However, consensual unions have historically been more common among disadvantaged populations and in rural areas than among more advantaged populations and in urban areas—indicating that such unions are rooted in limited economic and social opportunities. But a study in the March 2015 issue of Population and Development Review finds that childbearing within a consensual union among highly educated women has transitioned from rare to increasingly common in 13 Latin American countries. Population and Development Review is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal published by the Population Council.

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Studies in Family Planning: “Aligning Goals, Intents, and Performance Indicators in Family Planning Service Delivery”

NEW YORK (10 March 2015) — In the March 2015 issue of Studies in Family Planning, a commentary by Population Council social scientists Saumya RamaRao and Anrudh K. Jain contends that many promising family planning initiatives will meet their service delivery goals only if measures of performance are in line with the underlying intent of the initiatives.

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Press Releases

The Need for Safe and Effective HIV Prevention for Women

Providing women and girls with products, information, and support to stay safe from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is a key priority of the Population Council’s biomedical, social science, and public health research. Women, especially young women and girls, are at high risk for HIV infection in many parts of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, young women are twice as likely as young men to be living with HIV. Globally, AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age.

Recent findings from a number of HIV prevention studies have reinforced the urgent need to evaluate and introduce a range of HIV prevention products that fit the real-life needs of women and girls. These findings draw attention to what has long been a central tenet of Population Council research efforts: To be effective, HIV prevention products must also be accessible and easy to use. We are committed to developing HIV prevention products that address the complexities of women’s lives around the world.

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Population Council Reports Positive Acceptability Findings for Its Investigational One-Year Nestorone®/Ethinyl Estradiol Contraceptive Vaginal Ring

Population Council Reports Positive Acceptability Findings for Its Investigational One-Year Nestorone®/Ethinyl Estradiol Contraceptive Vaginal Ring

Research Published in Contraception Outlines a New Model for Measuring Acceptability of a Long-Acting Contraceptive Vaginal Ring

NEW YORK (16 December 2014) — The Population Council published new research in the November issue of the journal Contraception demonstrating that an investigational one-year contraceptive vaginal ring containing Nestorone® and ethinyl estradiol was found to be highly acceptable among women enrolled in a Phase 3 clinical trial. Because the perspectives of women are critical for defining acceptability, researchers developed a theoretical model based on women’s actual experiences with this contraceptive vaginal ring, and assessed their overall satisfaction and adherence to instructions for ring use. In this trial, researchers also measured continuation of ring use for up to one year.

“Understanding the factors that influence women’s satisfaction with and acceptability of a contraceptive method helps researchers and product developers design and test products that better meet their health and family planning needs,” said Ruth Merkatz, Director, Clinical Development, Center for Biomedical Research at the Population Council. “Our results add to the growing body of evidence documenting the acceptability of our investigational contraceptive vaginal ring. With the development of this model, we can continue studying women’s preferences for this and other vaginal rings to ensure that introductory and educational efforts are user-centric and responsive to women’s needs.”

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Population and Development Review: “The Effect on Fertility of the 2003–2011 War in Iraq”

Population and Development Review: “The Effect on Fertility of the 2003–2011 War in Iraq”
Photo credit: James Gordon

New Study from Population and Development Review Finds Adolescent Childbearing in Iraq Has Risen Due to Increased Early Marriage Among Less-Educated Women

NEW YORK (15 December 2014) — A study published today is the first detailed assessment of whether the 8-year Iraq War had an effect on childbearing. The study found that before the war, from 1997 to 2003, adolescent fertility in Iraq was stable at just below 70 births per 1,000 girls aged 15–19. However, soon after the beginning of the war, adolescent fertility rose by more than 30 percent, reaching over 95 births per 1,000 girls in 2010. The study is included in the December 2014 issue of Population and Development Review, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Population Council.

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Population Council Honors Global Health Leaders with Inaugural Ideas with Impact Awards

Population Council Honors Global Health Leaders with Inaugural Ideas with Impact Awards
Photo credit: Heysha Nameri

Awardees Include Bayer HealthCare, Adolescent Girls Learning Circle, and Outgoing Council President Peter Donaldson

The Population Council honored global leaders in international health and development at the first Ideas with Impact Awards ceremony in New York City on Monday night. Photos from the event are available at http://on.fb.me/1zvDUHP.

The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, the Council delivers solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world.

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Julia Bunting Named President of the Population Council

The Population Council’s Board of Trustees has selected Julia Bunting as the Council’s next president. Currently, Ms. Bunting heads the Programmes and Technical Division of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). She will assume the role of Council president in March 2015.

“For more than 60 years, the Population Council has changed the way the world thinks about important health and development issues. Julia’s leadership skills, tremendous contributions to our field, and deep knowledge of the issues that are central to the Council’s mission make her an outstanding choice to lead this great organization,” said Mark Walker, chairman of the Council’s Board of Trustees.

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Press Releases

Statement from the Population Council on Chhattisgarh Tragedy

We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths and complications experienced by women in Chhattisgarh. Our hearts go out to the women who died, those experiencing complications after surgery, and their families. We support rigorous investigations of the situation and hope they provide answers for the families of those who were affected, the people of India, and the Indian government.

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