Tracking contraceptives improves health services and choice in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda – When Isirimu Margret got pregnant at 16, her hope to continue her studies vanished. She dropped out of school, married her partner, and had a child. So when the chance to obtain family planning counseling at her local health facility, supported by UNFPA, arose, she took…

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As Afghanistan grapples with a surge in COVID-19 cases, one midwife shares her strength

HERAT CITY, Afghanistan – Mastura, a 27-year-old midwife in Herat, does not mince words when describing the hardships of the global pandemic: “2020 was the hardest year of my life,” she said. Matsura is a frontline responder at the Gazargah Transit Centre, providing reproductive health services to deportees who…

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Partnering with traditional birth attendants to reach Afro-descendant and indigenous women in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia – “Colombia is a multicolored country, with varied customs, practices, and celebrations… Within that level of inclusion, we need to add traditional birth practices,” said Ledy Manuela Mosquera Moreno. Ms.Mosquera is a nurse and the executive director of the Association of the Interethnic Network of Midwifery Practitioners…

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Surviving COVID-19 & conflict for women in Yemen

AL HUDAYAH, Yemen – Fatima once had a very different life. In the past, she was a well-educated woman, with a diploma in clinical laboratory science, and happily married with three children.  Everything changed when Yemen’s conflict erupted. When turmoil enveloped their home district, Al Khokah, in Al Hudaydah…

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Empowering Kenyan women and girls with disabilities in managing menstrual health

NAIROBI, Kenya – Anne found out she had gotten her first period when a classmate told her she had stained her dress. No one had ever explained menstruation to her. She didn’t understand why she was bleeding or why she was in pain. The then-14-year-old had a congenital mobility…

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Giving birth under a bridge during a hurricane in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Fabiola Ulloa, 23, gave birth under the bridge where she had taken shelter from a raging hurricane. Six months later, she is still there, with her new baby, partner, and 3-year-old son, living in a tent beside the road.  “My sister and I were both pregnant…

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Serving survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of the Congo – “We waited for hours in the distribution point until they finally told us to go home. Hungry and empty-handed, I walked with three other women and two little girls. It was dusk, and I heard the little girls scream. “I turned around…

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Amid pandemic disruptions, UNFPA Haiti’s midwives urge pregnant women to continue antenatal care

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti –  “In the past, I was really afraid because of COVID-19,” Frantzia Noël told UNFPA. She is 35 years old and 4 months pregnant, living in north-western Haiti. Fear of the virus has discouraged many women from seeking maternal health care. Some maternity facilities…

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