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Guyana drafting Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy

A section of the attendees at the GRPA's launch of the the Vision 2020 of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. A section of the attendees at the GRPA's launch of the the Vision 2020 of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Guyana is crafting its Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy with assistance from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shamdeo Persaud announced on Sunday.

Addressing an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) under the theme ‘Advancing Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights for all Guyanese’, Persaud appealed to the public to participate in planned national consultations. Among those to be targeted are the homeless, youths, the disabled and coastal and hinterland residents.

“We would like that policy not to be a Ministry of Health policy but a Guyana policy where all parties are involved, all stakeholders,” he said at the event held at the Seawall Bandstand, Georgetown.

He said the strategy would take the country beyond 2015 by which time countries around the world are expected to record progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Persaud’s announcement was made moments after First Lady Deolatchmie Ramotar advised Guyanese to be realistic in dealing with pregnancies by un-married couples. “I, too, believe in marriage before sex, I also think that whatever one’s view of the ideal and striving for to achieve this, we must also be realistic. We must face reality and try to deal with it as best as we can,” she said.

The First Lady expressed concern about the lack of knowledge and continued refusal by parents and others to speak about sex has resulted in many deaths due to illegal abortions. “In the majority of cases, it is the poor and ill-informed who are affected the most.”

GRPA Praised

The Chief Medical Officer hailed the role that the GRPA has played since the first AIDS case was diagnosed here in 1986. He credited the organisation with significantly reducing the number of new infections.

“The GRPA stepped up to the challenge and partnered with the Ministry of Health and many other agencies and ensured that HIV was recognised as a threat to our country and to advocate for resources to put their efforts together with others to fight that disease,” he said.

Persaud noted that Guyana was on the verge of eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2015.

The GRPA, founded by the late Olga Byrne, was also lauded for assisting in reducing the number of unsafe abortions since the enactment of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Bill in 1995. “GRPA has been steadfast in supporting that all the adequate regulations and provisions of that Act are adhered to so much so that unsafe termination of pregnancy, commonly known as abortion, is not a major cause of death among women as it used to be prior to 1995,” he said.

Vision 2020

GRPA also launched Vision 2020 of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), an international NGO, of which GRPA is an accredited Member Association. The IPPF works in 172 countries to empower the most vulnerable women, men and young people to access life-saving opportunities and to live with dignity. GRPA joins IPPF in its commitment to work towards the elimination of poverty, gender inequalities and injustices in ways that respect, protect and fulfill human rights of all persons.  
The IPPF Vision 2020 is a 10-point plan to put Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the heart of the international development agenda. It urges governments to meet 10 goals, among these are: reducing maternal mortality due to unsafe abortion by 75%, making comprehensive sexuality education available to all and recognizing sexual rights as human rights. By 2020, if an additional 120 million women and couples are given access to desired contraception options, 200,000 fewer women and girls will die in pregnancy and childbirth and 50 million abortions will be prevented. The GRPA was established in 1973 by the Guyana Women’s
League of Social Services (GWLSS) led by Ms. Olga Byrne, the Association’s first Executive Director.

The idea of the Association emerged within a context where access to family planning and maternal health information, education and services was lacking. Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights are linked to major issues facing Guyana, such as poverty, school dropout, domestic and sexual violence, homophobia, gender inequality, high risk sexual behavior, maternal mortality, cervical, breast and prostate cancer, STIs, HIV, and other health and social challenges.

The GWLSS responded to this situation, which they saw as critical to the advancement of women’s equality in Guyana. Today, GRPA is a leading organization in Guyana for sexual and reproductive health, combining medical services with counseling, education and other support programmes.

GRPA is also attentive to the situation of men and sexual and reproductive health with a call for men and boys to be more educated on these issues and to be partners with women in addressing SRHR concerns. The Association was awarded a National Award - Medal of Service in 2002 for providing service of a consistently high quality in the field of sexual and reproductive health, family planning and information and education vital to the prevention of STIs/HIV/AIDS.

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Comments   

 
0 #7 Felicia 2013-11-11 21:00
Shame for you Dr Shamdeo Persaud how can you be so hypocritical now speaking about sexual and reproductive health after you allegedly assaulted your wife on November 0 2010?
Shame for GRPA too
Sexual and reproductive health include the human rights for women to live in a world free of domestic violence
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+1 #6 jack Black 2013-10-30 15:17
This is another show by the various organizations who feed off of donor funds. As long as there is money coming in, there will be a group showing an interest and having much media coverage. In the end and after the money runns out, there will be a report saying that they have made so much progress wherein, on the streets and frontline, no such progress is experienced. Then, they all move on to the next hot topic gaining donor funds.
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+1 #5 Mrs. Jones 2013-10-29 21:35
Hello KB based on what you are saying then I guess that means "same sex" couples need contraceptive services too, way to go GRPA! It doesn't even make sense on a common sense level. LOL. According to you "All persons no matter their sexual orientation will be encouraged to access the services of GRPA." By that I assume you mean homos as well and that's fine with me BUT SASOD already represents their issues very well. I do believe there's more to this than meets the eye. Sorry to disappoint you but we are not all as dumb down as you think we are we can "read" between the lines. OKAYYY!
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+2 #4 Anita 2013-10-29 21:23
@KB I agree with TJ because when you read information it must be read with a media literate approach; that is the understanding of how certain terminology and politically correct lingo is used in forming a perception. This article clearly contains the following words & phrases: "homophobia", "gender inequality" and "recognizing sexual rights as human rights". Now within the context of their 2020 Vision these words and phrases make it very apparent that the homo agenda is included in their list of priorities. That cannot be denied no matter how much you and they try to SUGAR COAT it. It is what it is.
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-1 #3 KB 2013-10-29 19:54
TJ for your information GRPA has a mandate which deals with the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all Guyanese and this translates to mean that all persons no matter their sexual orientation will be encouraged to access the services of GRPA. No part of their mandate or mission states that their intention is to make anyone :HOMO." I sense you have some issues you are still trying to deal with as an individual but i encourage you to first and foremost see everyone in this society as an individual with the rights as every other human beings. Maybe when you get the chance you can go into the organization to get some more details
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+1 #2 TJ 2013-10-29 12:21
We need to be aware of the agenda of this agency it is now taking on the task of homosexualizing society since when are "homophobia" and "gender inequality" issues that the GRPA represents. Note the wording in their 2020 Vision it is all based on this agenda "making comprehensive sexuality education available to all and recognizing sexual rights as human rights." decode this and it translates" imposing" the homo agenda on society, in our school and educational system our children don't need to learn this mess. GRPA is "Responsible" for parenthood issues and reproductive issues and clearly only heterosexuals can reproduce. Why is the GRPA allowing itself to be used as a pawn in pushing the homo agenda which is totally unrelated to its primary purpose.
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+5 #1 Ben 2013-10-27 21:58
We need the police to stop the Prostitution on Shriff Street and around GT.
Stop The Bars on the country side with all the under age Amerindian girls.
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