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MEN as Partners to MEND Maternal Health A World Population Day Initiative

ievably at 6,604,123,988. China tops the heap with a population of 1,322,049,405 and India trails at number two with a population of 1,130,313,581. The forecast is rather grim for India judging by the present growth rate we may just overtake China to the number one position by 2030!

Therefore, realization has dawned that the key to reducing maternal deaths and controlling the population needs an intelligent strategy that will hit the nail on the head. The approach is to focus on the role played by men as husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, to empower them with the responsibility of womens health.

Objectives to Improve Maternal Health
A wise man said, "The idea that population growth guarantees a better life - financially or otherwise - is a myth that only those who sell diapers, baby carriages and the like have any right to believe."

To avoid unplanned pregnancies, contraception is a must and all women must have access to it. For expectant women, skilled care during delivery is an absolute necessity. Towards this, there are many shining examples of improvements to obstetric care and emergency care that has reflected in a tangible decline in maternal deaths. Success stories have been recorded in China, Cuba, Egypt, Honduras, Jamaica, and Sri Lanka due to improved midwife services that lowered the rate of maternal deaths by 50 % in 10 years.

It has also been extremely encouraging to note that when men were involved in a particular goal, they rose to the occasion to meet with the objectives. When men were presented with health statistics of women, they began to involve in the health issues of women. Therefore, instilling this sense of ownership is sacrosanct to the objectives of the United Nations Programme, this World Population Day.

Towards this end, many UNFPA programmes will be kick started to sow the seeds of gender equity and womens empowerment in the
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