South Asia 'failing on reproductive health access'

Efforts to ensure universal reproductive health access across Asia are failing, it has been reported.

Delegates at the 5th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, staged in Beijing, China, have agreed that a lack of progress has been made in this area, despite the commitments made in the past.

Difficulties continue to be experienced in family planning, maternal health, Aids prevention and female empowerment, the experts suggested.

The Beijing Call for Action, drafted by the conference organisers, said "there has been a lacklustre reaction by governments, donors and development institutions" to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and Millennium Development Goals.

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, said that while there had been important gains over the last 15 years, many countries, particularly in South Asia, are still far from meeting maternal mortality targets.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization reported that global maternal death rates had failed to improve between 1990 and 2007.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19419814-ADNFCR