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Sexual and reproductive health

Everyone has the right to enjoy reproductive health as a basis for having healthy children, intimate relationships and happy families. Sexual and reproductive health encompasses key areas of the UNFPA vision – that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
China has achieved remarkable progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goal 5a of reducing maternal mortality. But challenges still remain in achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Sexual and reproductive health services are not yet integrated with the maternal and child health services, and essential sexual and reproductive health packages are not yet included in the primary health care. Risks of HIV and AIDs and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are higher for certain key population groups, including young people, migrants and sex workers. UNFPA will assist the development of an overarching national SRH framework proposal to guide the improvement of comprehensive service delivery in China. A comprehensive SRH policy framework can guide national efforts to promote universal access to reproductive health, and facilitate a holistic approach to address the inter-related sexual and reproductive health and rights issues.
The Chinese Government announced the adoption of a universal two-child policy in China in 2015. It also announced that it will strengthen and improve public services, including reproductive health, maternal and child health care, as well as nursery services. UNFPA hopes these will lead to the fulfillment of the basic right of all couples and individuals in China to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children. UNFPA is committed to working with the Government to advance sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights of all Chinese people, especially those of women and young people.
Midwives, besides assisting women to deliver babies, contribute to primary and reproductive healthcare and provide many of needed interventions throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond. In China, midwives are not regarded as a separate profession hence no advanced midwifery education exists. This is one of the reasons contributing to the excessively high rate of caesarean sections in China. UNFPA has helped the government to strengthen midwifery services, education and training. UNFPA will continue to facilitate policy dialogue towards the establishment of midwifery as a medical profession in the primary health care system in China, including through possible revision of national nursing regulations and formalization of midwifery education in line with international standards.
An estimated 225 million women in the world who want to avoid unwanted pregnancies, lack access to modern contraception. Reproductive health commodity security is identified by both UNFPA and its national partners as an important area in China’s international and South-South Cooperation. UNFPA will facilitate exchanges among key stakeholders to address the gaps and challenges, with the aim of increasing the variety of quality products in developing country markets.