THE 25 countries that form the Partnership in Population and Development (PPD) are working on modalities to scrap regulatory barriers that prevent the easy entry of some medicines into member states to ensure universal accessibility of reproductive health to citizens.
Some reproductive health medicines are heavily regulated or banned by other countries.
PPD executive director Dr Joe Thomas told Southern Eye in an interview in Victoria Falls yesterday that member states were revising the restrictive regulations to enable easy access to medicines for citizens’ reproductive health.
“This is what we are working on. We are doing it as part of celebrating our 20 years of existence and we want every citizen from our member states to access reproductive health,” Thomas said.
“We are going to campaign for the scrapping of regulatory barriers between member countries, which see some medicines failing to get into these countries.
“This is going to be our immediate target through the South–South Co-operation, which is the brainchild of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt in 1994,” Thomas said.
One of the main goals set during the ICPD in 1994 was to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015.
However, Thomas said they were facing major challenges in accessing resources to achieve their goals as the grouping comprised mostly developing countries with little financial resources.
“This has affected a consensus on population dynamics. That has been the major challenge we have been facing over the past 20 years of our existence.”
Although they have faced major challenges, he said they had also scored successes in providing scholarships for about 3 000 officials from member states to further their studies in reproductive health and population development.
“About 7 000 have gone for exchange programmes on the use of contraceptives in members states with the knowledge being shared for the benefit of the grouping,” Thomas said.
PPD was formed by nine developing countries, including Zimbabwe, in 1995 as an inter-governmental vehicle for the promotion of South-South Co-operation in population and development related issues.