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UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, recommitted to the revolutionary decision taken at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) to ensure that every woman, man, child and young person is able to exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This undertaking was made at UNFPA’s continental 50th anniversary celebrations in Ethiopia.
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Shame, isolation and segregation are among the indignities faced by the hundreds of thousands of women and girls worldwide who suffer from obstetric fistula, an injury of the birth canal after prolonged and obstructed labour. The girls and women afflicted by the condition, which is preventable and largely treatable, are often plagued by chronic incontinence. As a result, they face devastating social stigma.
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Keflene Yakobo tried to do everything right during her pregnancy. Though she was young – married at age 17 and pregnant at 19 – she was diligent about receiving regular check-ups. “I started attending antenatal clinics as soon as I realized I was pregnant, and continued throughout my entire term,” Ms. Yakobo told UNFPA.