Latin America and the Caribbean

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the regional consultation, La agenda inconclusa (The unfinished agenda), took place on June 5-6 in Mexico City, Mexico with coordinating partner Grupo de Trabajo Regional para la Reducción de la Mortalidad Materna (GTR). The Under-Secretary of Health Prevention and Promotion from Mexico’s Federal Government, Dr. Pablo Kuri Morales, and Mexico City’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Armando Ahued Ortega, opened the consultation and called for greater attention and resources to improve maternal health across the region. The consultation, which was the third in the series hosted by Women Deliver, convened almost 200 regional decision-makers, health authorities, academics, civil society representatives, youth advocates, indigenous women networks, and other global stakeholders.

Participants of the meeting discussed strategies to strengthen political commitment to women’s reproductive health throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with an emphasis on improving maternal health in a post-2015 development framework. View the agenda (Spanish and English) for a full list of speakers and topics. In both working group sessions and plenaries, the following key recommendations were discussed by participants and experts:

  1. ADDRESS INEQUITIES: The persistence of geographic, economic, and social inequities continues to be a huge challenge for the region. Countries must increase reproductive health information and services to young women and adolescents, and to low-income, rural, indigenous, and Afro-descendant women. This includes addressing the continued prevalence of unsafe abortion and working to reduce the high rates of gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence.
  • FAMILY PLANNING: We must work to improve and expand access to modern contraceptive methods (including emergency contraception) for all women.
  1. FOCUS ON YOUTH: Countries must intensify efforts to guarantee friendly sexual and reproductive health services to all adolescents, and expand comprehensive sexuality education in and out of schools. Investing in youth is essential to expand their opportunities for a productive future.
  1. IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: LAC must strengthen and accelerate progress in a context of limited resources and declining development aid. To do that, countries must build partnerships with the private sector, strengthen health systems to reduce inefficiency, introduce results-based financing systems, and involve civil society to improve monitoring of resources, transparency, and accountability. Civil society should also be engaged to strengthen maternal mortality surveillance, reduce under-registration, and improve maternal deaths classification. Indigenous and Afro-descendant populations need to be reflected in national and international statistics – not lost in the aggregation of data.
  1. ENSURE QUALITY OF CARE/HUMAN RIGHTS: Health service delivery must be more sensitive to the needs of individuals, families and communities. Countries must bring an intercultural perspective to the delivery of health series, so they can effectively respond to the needs and expectations of all women, particularly those from indigenous communities. We must also recognize the important role of skilled birth attendants as a part of a balanced workforce (physicians, midwives, and nurses) addressing rural and urban environments. TBAs should be welcomed into the health team to promote culturally acceptable care, share traditional practices, and serve as a key interface between the formal and traditional systems of care. Finally, we must address the overuse of misuse of technology, including the rate of C-section incidence, while working for high quality of care and assurance of human rights.
  1. FINISH THE AGENDAS: Approaches to women’s health must look at all the international agreements and frameworks, including the ICPD Programme of Action, the Beijing Platform for Action, and the MDGs. The rights and health of women should be central to any future development framework; there can be no sustainable development without women’s rights.

The report from all three Regional Consultations (sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, and Asia) is available here.

Speaker Presentations (in Spanish)(Español)(Español):

Women Deliver in the News
Press releases for the meeting are available for June 4th, June 5th, June 6th and June 8th.


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International Women's Day 2012