Asian governments pledge to tackle women's health issues

Reducing maternal deaths should be a higher priority for South Asian governments, the Asian Forum for Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFFPD) has agreed.

Following a three-day conference, politicians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka concluded that better supplied and staffed services for pregnancy and childbirth are needed, as are enhanced family planning and HIV prevention facilities.

Organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the event was designed to raise awareness of the need for increased national spending on reproductive health services.

Nepal's president Ram Baran Yadav opened the conference, while Pakistan's minister of population welfare Firdous Ashiq Awan also spoke.

A declaration from the forum stated: "In many countries in the region, coverage for family planning and access to comprehensive reproductive health services and commodities is still inadequate."

According to UNFPA, making family planning services more available in the developing world could reduce deaths by a third.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19293746-ADNFCR