The International Day of Action for Women???s Health is observed annually on May 28 since 1987.

The significance of the day is to call attention to the sexual and reproductive rights of women and provide an opportunity to remind governments and policy makers that ???women???s health matters???.

This year???s campaign highlights the need to ensure that the post-2015 agenda, which will include a set of sustainable development goals that will guide international development policies, priorities and funding over the next 15 years, comprehensively addresses women???s and girls??? sexual and reproductive rights.

As the target date approaches for the Millennium Development Goals, Barbados continues its mission to advance the health and development of women, children and adolescents through a new global strategy.

This strategy will elaborate actions needed to end preventable maternal, newborn, child and adolescent mortality and for promoting health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents.

Barbados recognises the importance of investment in universal access to health care; integrated sexual and reproductive health; and the establishment of shared goals with health-enhancing sectors, including education, labour, agriculture, social care and the environment.

The Government of Barbados will continue to pursue the implementation of the policy to provide the HPV vaccine for girls in primary schools. HPV vaccines are intended to protect females against some of the most common types of HPV and the health problems that the virus can produce in the future.

The availability of this vaccine is seen as one of the best investments that government can make in women???s health.??Early registration for prenatal services from the 12th week of gestation is strongly encouraged.

All prenatal women who register are regularly seen and monitored for maternal health, foetal growth and to prevent complications for both mother and child. All pregnant women are offered an HIV test as part of their standard antenatal care and all births are attended by skilled personnel.

Equity in access to health services is a fundamental principle which has been embraced by the Government of Barbados and women have access to a full range of preventive services through the public health system, including the availability of quality pharmaceutical drugs through the Barbados Drug Service.

The Ministry of Health is pleased to recognise the observance of the International Day for Action for Women???s Health 2015, and will continue to work to improve the health of all women in Barbados.

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