Launch of USAID’s Reproductive Health Observatory

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
Managua, May 17, 2016

Good morning.

It is a great pleasure for me to participate here today with you in the launch of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Observatory “CONNECTION.”  It will be managed be the NicaSalud Federation, with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  This observatory has already been implemented successfully in other Latin American countries.  It is a model that strengthens civic participation in advocacy and monitors sexual and reproductive health.

Nicaragua has been recognized as a country with notable achievements in gender equity and in the improvement of its health indicators.  For more than 50 years, the U.S. government, through USAID, contributed to the strengthening of health services in Nicaragua.

The family planning program was one of the most successful supported by USAID in Nicaragua until its graduation in 2013.  The availability of contraceptive methods and the access to family planning services are essential indicators for monitoring the advancement of health.  The national figures on the use of contraceptive methods are very good, close to 80%.  However, a survey carried out in 2011 reports that unmet family planning needs are greatest among adolescent women.

Now it is NicaSalud’s turn to continue the monitoring of advances in this important issue.  To have a prosperous future, adolescents need a full life that is not interrupted by an unwanted pregnancy.  Family planning is not only a women’s matter.  I want to highlight the role of men in disseminating amongst their peers information about the benefits of using family planning methods.

I encourage you all to continue your efforts so that Nicaraguan families have the information and required services to meet health needs.  I thank the partners that have accompanied the technical aspects of the creation and monitoring of this observatory: Project DELIVER and the NicaSalud Federation member organizations for their commitment and dedication.

I hope that today’s sessions will be very successful for all and contribute to the improvement of your knowledge about this important issue.

Thank you.

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