Family planning prevented 26m unsafe abortions in one year – Report

Lagos, Dec. 6, 2017 (TNE) The use of modern contraceptives in Family Planning (FP2020) focus countries prevented 84 million unintended pregnancies and 26 million unsafe abortions from July 2016 to July 2017, a report has said.

The Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Annual Progress Report said that usage of modern contraceptives also averted 125,000 maternal deaths inthe focus countries.

The report is entitled: “FP2020: The Way Ahead 2016- 2017’’.

The report was released in Lagos after its launch by Ms Beth Schlachter, Executive Director, Family Planning 2020, on Tuesday in the U.S.

FP2020 is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide freely whether they should have children, when and how many children they should have.

According to the report, injectables are the most commonly used contraception method in 28 of the FP2020 focus countries, followed by pills in 16 countries, condoms in nine countries and IUDs in eight countries.

It said that implants and injectables are recording continued increase in prevalence.

“Rights-based family planning programmes have a greater ripple effect than almost any other development investment, from saving lives and improving health to strengthening economies, transforming societies and lifting entire countries out of poverty,’’ it said.

The report said that if FP2020 must meet its target goals, commitment makers must honour their promises.

It said that governments must do more to provide healthcare services for their citizens while the citizens must continue to hold public officials accountable.

Schlachter had said during the launch of the report that FP2020 was making progress toward enabling more women and girls worldwide to use modern contraceptives by the year 2020.

Schlachter said: “The report reveals that, as of July 2017, more than 309 million women and girls in the 69 FP2020 focus countries use modern methods of contraception.

“This is 38.8 million more than those who used contraceptives in 2012, when FP2020 was launched; this is an increase that is approximately 30 per cent above the historical trend.

“Through the dedicated efforts of governments, policymakers, programme implementers, service providers and donors, the health systems in FP2020 countries are becoming better aligned to meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of women and girls.’’

She said that Africa accounted for almost half of the additional users of modern contraception methods.

“As of July 2017, 16 million additional women are using a modern method of contraception in the FP2020 countries of Africa.

“The rate of contraceptive use is also growing rapidly.

“Since 2012, the modern contraceptive prevalence rate among all women in the region has increased from 19.5 per cent to 23.4 per cent, with the fastest growth occurring in Eastern and Southern Africa,’’ she said.

Schlachter noted that FP2020 is a movement to empower women and girls by investing in rights-based family planning.

“We believe that every woman and girl must be empowered to shape her own life.

“Family planning is both a basic right and a life-changing, transformational health service, with the potential to accelerate progress across all our development goals,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, a statement by FP2020 quoted Dr Chris Elias, President of Global Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Co-Chair of the FP2020 Reference Group, as saying that focus will be on rights henceforth.

According to him, focus will also be on accountability, the financing landscape and the evolving global pathway that links FP2020 progress to universal access to reproductive health by 2030.

At the Family Planning Summit in July 2017, three new and 33 revitalised FP2020 countries renewed their commitments with expanded pledges.

Their commitments include outlining new objectives, dedicating larger budget allocations, delivering more resources and reaching more women and girls.

The countries include Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi and Mali.

Others are Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

(TNE)

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