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Jamaica gains in sexual, reproductive health - Harvey

Published:Tuesday | August 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Dr Kevin Harvey

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Kevin Harvey, says Jamaica has come a far way in terms of gaining improvements in sexual and reproductive health over the years.

"The total fertility rate, for example, has moved from as high as 5.5 per cent in 1970 to 2.3 per cent presently, and that is as a result of a combination of various interventions and stakeholder partnerships. We have also been able to sustain the HIV prevalence rate among the general population at 1.8 per cent," Harvey said.

Harvey was speaking at the opening ceremony for the three-day workshop on Logistics, Warehousing and Forecasting for Reproductive Health Commodities in the Caribbean put on by the United Nations Population Fund in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The workshop is being held at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in Kingston.

The workshop is a part of the Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security which seeks to equip key partners in the health services with the knowledge and skills to develop effective action plans, forecast commodity needs at the country level, and identify underserved populations.

Harvey indicated that the workshop is a welcome initiative as "it will enable us to better manage and plan to make adequate supplies of contraceptives available to our population, thus empowering persons to make better decisions with respect to their right to sexual and reproductive health".

The workshop, which ends tomorrow, involves participants from several Caribbean countries.