LIMITED RESOURCES HAMPER TUVALU IN MEETING FAMILY PLANNING NEEDS: ESEKIA TEANGAI

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THE HAGUE, The Netherlands---(February 12, 1999 - PACNEWS)---A senior Tuvalu government official says his country faces many challenges in trying to meet reproductive health and family planning services needs, because the government's sexual health programs are hampered by limited resources.

Esekia Teangai, special advisor to Tuvalu's Health Minister, made the comments while addressing the Netherlands International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The conference is looking at how countries have fulfilled their commitments to the 1994 Cairo ICPD plan of action.

Teangai said Tuvalu's leading health concerns are cervical and breast cancer, teenage pregnancy, STDs, HIV/AIDS, smoking and alcohol abuse, low family planning, a high infant mortality rate, lack of manpower, information, equipment and facilities.

His government plans to improve the knowledge of family and sexual health workers through training, he said, but, given the size of the country, there is a need for further assistance in addressing constraints.

Teangai called on richer nations, and bilateral and multilateral donors to assist in funding population activities in the region.

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