UK & World News
Contraceptives Summit Aims To Save Lives
The UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are hosting an international conference in London on extending family planning access to millions of women in the world's poorest countries.
Health ministers, charities, donors and private sector companies working in the family planning business will discuss increasing the global availability of contraceptives and how to empower women so they have more choices about sex.
One country that urgently needs such help is Malawi, which has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in Africa.
More than 600 women die there for every 100,000 that give birth while childbirth is the biggest cause of death among 15 to 19-year-old girls.
At the London summit, the UK Government will pledge to donate more than £1bn to help family planning services in the developing world.
In a bid to help 24 million girls and women in the world's poorest countries, British aid will be doubled for eight years, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell will announce later.
Aid for family planning will increase from £90m each year to £180m.
Mr Mitchell said the increase in aid will save a woman's life every two hours.
He added: "British support will mean that millions of women who are currently unable to access or use family planning information, services and supplies will be able to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children to have."
It is estimated that 220 million women around the world do not have access to contraceptives or information on them.
In some countries women need written consent from their husbands before they can talk to a doctor about contraception while in others, family planning services are not offered to adolescents or unmarried women.
A recent report from Save the Children suggests that pregnancy is the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide.
The charity said that every year one million teenage girls die or are injured because of pregnancy or childbirth.
The summit is expected to be attended by delegates from up to 25 countries, including the US, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates has called family planning in poor nations one of her "top priorities".
Mrs Gates said: "When I travel and talk to women in developing countries, they all tell me that they want access to contraceptives to be able to plan their families.
"These women want to raise healthy and educated children that can contribute to building prosperous communities."
The Gates Foundation and the US government are expected to later pledge millions of dollars on developing more efficient forms of contraception.
what do you think?
EDUCATION! Spend Billions on education instead give them information on all things as we where and the rest will follow. The proof? It is no coincedence that since the Thatcherite government destroyed education in this country we have seen a steady increase in young single pregnant girls but thats okay we can afford it.. Why not instead of keeping these countries down like Malawi, why not bring them up to our standards. Why not instead of waging war on middle eastern countries, why not spend our money on waging war on corrupt oil and mineral rich african nations. Why? because we are as corrupt as they are, but we have learned the art of disguise.
I'd rather do neither and keep our billions here.
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What a total waste of time.
Good luck convincing the Vatican. . . Though quite why God Almighty would be SO concerned about a condom is beyond me
The biggest killer in the world, the catholic church, will never allow it. They and a succession of popes have destroyed several countries wth their evil attitude.
Which countries have 'they' desroyed with their 'evil attitude'?
In many of the developing countries of Africa and South America the word of the priest is regarded as gospel and people react accordingly. They have much to answer for not least thousands of unwanted children born to starve
What has the Catholic Church got to do with this? The bigots and the ignorant have finished flicking through their tabloids it seems.
Viv. Evil attitude is too strong a word. Their stance against contraception and subsequent teachings to simple people is where the problem lies.
Here we go again. What a waste of money. In this country they have access to contraceptives but still you see them with 6+ kids in tow. Wake up.
Saving the lives of women and children in desperately poor countries is a waste of money is it? And the majority of the money is probably coming from The Gates Foundation so no need to be so hysterical about the 'billions' being spent.
This is a waste of time and money. They simply ignore the advice. One birth control worker said that they demonstrate how to use the condoms using a broomstick - but African males want the broomstick, NOT the condom as they refuse to see any use in it.
What an absolute waste of taxpayers money. When will the western world learn that it takes thousands of years for certain people to develop along the lines of Darwinism. You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Every time I see a news story on the starving children in the world my first thought is "Where are the fathers" - you never see them and no-one ever asks the question "Why have children if you cannot prevent them from starvation?" Let's have some interviews with the fathers to see what they have to say about the matter.
Charity begins at home Mr Cameron, just one word to say to you, REMPLOY.
remember aids remember all the efforts by various western countries to fly over condoms all the advisors that went to explain how vital it was to take up safe sex. these people for all their suffering refused to entertain the idea. surely people know now that this is an exersise in futility. waste of time money and effort. sad but true