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Summary of Week 2

Summary of the week's learning and key issues in the field of reproductive health from Dr Tanya Marchant.
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TANYA MARCHANT: We’ve now come to the end of week two, Reproductive Health– Every Birth Wanted. We’ve learned that there as many as 75 million unintended pregnancies around the world each year, and that meeting the unmet need for contraception could reduce this number by 70%.
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Access to and use of modern contraception has increased worldwide from the 1970s to today, but more work still needs to be done. There are as many as 222 million women who have an unmet need for contraception, and even those women who do access services experience multiple barriers that often leads to discontinuation or interruption of protection. But there are successes. Developments in long-lasting methods mean that more women remain protected for longer. And developments in countries like Ethiopia have been encouraging. We hope that you enjoyed the discussion on the situation there. Reproductive health has been a cross-cutting issue on this course, given its impact on health across the lifecycle.
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Next week, we’re going to return to our lifecycle structure and focus on current issues in maternal health. We look forward to seeing you then.

We have now reached the end of Week 2. We have learned that there are an estimated 75 million unintended pregnancies around the world each year, and that meeting unmet need for modern contraception has the potential to reduce this number by 70% to 22 million. As a result this could help us to avoid 25 million abortions, many of which are unsafe, and 680,000 deaths among women and newborns.

Access to and use of modern methods of contraception has increased worldwide from the 1970s to today although more work still needs to be done, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. 222 million women continue to have unmet need for contraception, and many women who are using contraception experience multiple barriers when trying to access services, often leading to discontinuation or interruption of protection. However, there are success stories. Developments in long-lasting methods help women stay protected for longer, and rapid progress is being made in some countries, such as Ethiopia. We hope you enjoyed the discussion on the situation there.

With its impact on health outcomes across the lifecycle, reproductive health has been a cross cutting subject for learning on this course. In Week 3 we will return to the lifecycle structure, focusing on current issues in maternal health. We look forward to seeing you then.

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