The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Helping exilees to seal their conceal

UNFPA provides male and female condoms for refugees in Nepal

Kantipur Report

KATHMANDU, Nov 23 - As part of global agreement to address the reproductive health information and service needs available to refugees around the world, the United Nations Population Fund-UNFPA Nepal handed over some 7,00,000 male condoms and 5,000 female condoms to the UN Refugee Agency for its refugee programme in Nepal, in a function in Kathmandu on Thursday.

“I wish to express my deep appreciation to UNFPA for this important contribution for the betterment of reproductive health of the refugees in Nepal,” a press release from UNFPA quoted Abraham Abraham, UNHCR Representative in Nepal, as saying. “What we all need is a healthy population capable of making strides to achieve higher standards of human development. Understanding that prevention is better then cure will avoid a miserable future for individuals, communities and nations,” added Abraham.

Stating that the UN refugee agency together with UNFPA is aiming at increasing awareness surrounding new methods of family planning and protection against sexually transmitted infections and HIV in refugee settings in Nepal, the release added, refugees are in precarious social and economic situations and need to be better informed about the available options to delay, space, and limit births as well as to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

“Enabling access to male and female condoms is a key component in ensuring that every community and every person has the necessary tools to make informed choices and empowered decisions,” the release quoted Junko Sazaki, UNFPA Representative to Nepal, as saying. Sazakit stressed, “And ensuring availability of female condoms is especially critical for women’s health and development as it enables them to control their fertility and to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.”

The Female Condom represents the only single barrier method preventing both pregnancy and infection that women can initiate, and in some ways control. It gives women more negotiating power in sexual decision-making and, in the long term, can contribute to their empowerment.

Ensured access to reproductive health services and commodities added to access to proper information has the potential to reduce poverty and hunger, and avert maternal and childhood deaths in refugee communities.

Stating that reproductive health is a right; and like any other rights it applies to refugees, the release said, UNFPA and the UN Refugee Agency are committed to improving the reproductive health and rights of the refugees of Nepal.

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