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Date:5/31/2013

he Lancet medical journal, tracked the amount of official development assistance (ODA) for reproductive health over two years. This is the first time such a global analysis of ODA for reproductive health has been undertaken. Specific reproductive health activities tracked in this analysis includes prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS for women of reproductive age (15-49); family planning; treatment of sexually transmitted infections; and sexual health.

The results show an increase from $5,579 million in 2009 to $5,637 million in 2010 -- a slight increase of about 1%. However, more than half of ODA for reproductive health was directed to HIV/AIDS services; the share of funding for treatment of other sexually transmitted infections actually decreased. Only 7% of this ODA went for family planning. For example, when ranked by amount of reproductive health funding received per capita, countries from southern Africa top the list, but when funding for HIV/AIDS is excluded, those countries move further down the list, despite the high unmet need for family planning for many countries in the region.

"Although the volume of aid for reproductive health is quite substantial, such funding is not balanced across activities if international targets are going to be met for universal access to reproductive health, more balanced aid needs to go to essential reproductive health services such as family planning," says Justine Hsu, MSc, lead author of the paper and a researcher in health economics with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Ms. Hsu notes that many commitments have been made to family planning over the past year, due largely to the London Family Planning Summit held last July. "We need to continue to analyze trends and breakdowns of data to understand what aspects of reproductive health are being supported, and to ensure donors are keeping to their commitments," she says.

"While it is great news that funding for
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Contact: Marshall Hoffman
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Hoffman & Hoffman Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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