Montevideo, April 21, 2023. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Jamaica, Suriname, the United States, and Uruguay met on April 19 to exchange and receive contributions to the informative document on the current state of Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in the Americas.
The document includes an extensive review and systematization of documents, including data, plans, and existing initiatives, and scientific articles and publications of United Nations agencies related to sexual and reproductive health.
The director of the Latin American Center for Perinatology - Women's and Reproductive Health (CLAP/WR) presented an overview of the document and referred to the existing challenges. "We are facing a unique opportunity to reaffirm our commitment politically; we have the technical mechanisms and the commitment to advance the rights linked to sexual and reproductive health in the Americas," she said.
Serruya also recalled that we are only seven years away from 2030, and there is still much to do to meet the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been enormous regarding access to sexual and reproductive health services in the region."
During the exchange, the countries raised essential issues related to teenage pregnancy, sex education, and gender-based violence, among others, and expressed the need and commitment to address these issues.
The Director of PAHO's Department of Health Systems and Services, James Fitzgerald, thanked the "valuable contribution of the countries" and referred to the importance of the involvement of each one of them to have a document that reflects the different realities of the region.
Over the next few days, comments will continue to be received for inclusion in the final document, which will be presented at the next PAHO's Executive Council meeting.