Daily Digests: Postpartum Family Planning Global Meeting

From June 7-11, FP2020, in technical partnership with Jhpiego, hosted 175 participants from 20 countries to accelerate efforts on the implementation of postpartum family planning (PPFP).  Forty presenters from around the world discussed state-of-the-art technical knowledge and programming experience in PPFP. Interactive learning sessions, small working groups and country-specific action plans for PPFP were developed over the course of the week.

Catch up on the action with FP2020’s daily digests, which highlight key moments, fast facts and resources:

Why family planning needs of rural women can no longer be ignored

Access to safe, accurate, high quality, affordable, acceptable and voluntary family planning is a basic human right yet thousands of young girls and women who want to avoid pregnancy in Kenya’s rural areas lack access to family planning information and services. Women and girls living in rural areas are usually at risk because they are usually denied basic reproductive health and rights services and information. They are forced to carry pregnancies, give birth in dangerous circumstances, and in many places women are sterilized without their informed consent or even knowledge.

Limited access to reproductive health services, gender inequality, stock outs, distance to health point, cultural norms, and lack of skilled service providers are some of the barriers to accessing family planning services in rural areas and have led to them having poor health outcomes.

In Kenya, young girls and women below the age of 24 years account for 70% of all the pregnancies. Most of these pregnancies are usually unintended and occur in rural areas. 50% of married and sexually active unmarried women in Kenya’s rural areas have unmet needs for family planning.

UNFPA: Reproductive Health Commodity Strategy seeks to address Gambia’s low CPR rate

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Ministry of Health with funding from UNFPA RHCS Project Plan, Saturday concluded a three-day development workshop on the 3rd National Reproductive Health Commodity Strategy for The Gambia 2017-2021.

The strategy seeks to address The Gambia’s Low Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) with focus on Reproductive Health Commodity Security (RHCS).

The Reproductive Health Commodity Security Strategic Planning workshop held at the Tendaba Camp in Kiang, in the Lower River Region, was attended by stakeholders in the reproductive health sectors across the country, including UNFPA officials.

Big questions remain about global contraceptive access

The fundamental right to decide if and when to have a child is presently out of reach to 225 million women worldwide who want to delay or avoid pregnancy through use of a modern method of contraception.

The evidence is irrefutable: Investments in family planning are essential to the prosperity of developing countries. When a woman can exercise her reproductive rights, she is better equipped to leverage her other rights, such as the right to education. Access to family planning reduces poverty, improves health, promotes gender equality, and increases financial opportunity. The results are overwhelmingly positive: Empowered women lead to healthier families, stronger communities and flourishing societies.

The power and potential of family planning has not gone unnoticed. Four years ago, global health and development leaders convened in London to take a declarative stance on the issue and make a daring promise: to provide voluntary, rights-based family planning to 120 million additional women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by the year 2020. Family Planning 2020, a global partnership to catalyze action on this commitment was born of this promise. Enormous progress has been made over the past four years, and more women and girls than ever before have access to and are able to use contraception.

We can’t address maternal health without family planning – Minister

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that the issue of maternal health could not be addressed without tackling the issue of family planning.

The Minister stated this in Abuja Tuesday when he received a report on: “Maternal Health in Nigeria, A Situation Report,” which was presented by Chima O.Izugbara, Senior Research Scientist on Population Dynamics and Reproductive Health, African Population and Health Research Centre.

Adewole said that promotion of family planning and child spacing are key ingredients to reducing morbidity and maternal mortality in Nigeria.

Family Planning Champions Speak Out on International Day of the Girl

idg-thumb-2October 11 marks International Day of the Girl, a day to recognize and reflect upon girls’ rights and the need to empower girls around the world. Ensuring that adolescents and girls of reproductive age have access to sexual education and contraceptive choice is central to their empowerment – through contraception, they have a greater chance of completing their education, pursuing their careers, and fulfilling their dreams. FP2020 spoke with three remarkable young women in Uganda, Zambia and India about their work to bring contraception to women and girls in their communities.

Would You Inject Your Own Birth Control? These Women Already Are

Before the birth of her first child last year, Warom Molly had never used hormonal birth control. But at her daughter Bethel’s postnatal checkup in Gulu, Uganda, Warom knew exactly which method she wanted: Sayana Press, a three-month, progestin-only contraceptive shot that is self-injectable.

Following this hospital visit, Warom would receive some training on self-injection, and then get to take home a dose to administer to herself. This “do-it-yourself” option represents a radical and potentially life-saving level of control for women in places like Gulu, where contraception can be difficult to obtain. Many Ugandan women have to travel miles away from their villages, usually by foot, and wait hours in long lines to get medical care, including contraception, whether that’s Depo-Provera, the birth control shot that has to be administered in a clinic, or the far less popular option in Uganda, the pill.

But thanks to its novel injection system developed by the global health nonprofit PATH, Sayana Press, which is manufactured by Pfizer and costs just $1 per dose, is very easy (and safe) for health workers — and women themselves — to administer.

DOH appeals SC order vs contraceptive implants

The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday insisted on its bid in the Supreme Court (SC) to proceed with the procurement and distribution of controversial contraceptive implants under the Reproductive Health program.

In a 47-page motion filed by Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial, the DOH appealed the ruling of the SC Second Division last August rejecting its pleading seeking to lift the high court’s temporary restraining order (TRO) barring the DOH’s acquisition and distribution of contraceptive products Implanon and Implanon NXT to the public.

Petitioners also asked the SC to reconsider its ruling that struck down the certifications and re-certifications issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 77 contraceptive drugs and devices, including Implanon and Implanon NXT, for violation of the constitutional requirement of due process.

Duterte set to sign family planning EO–Pernia

President Duterte will be signing an executive order (EO) directing full implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, the country’s chief economist said.

“We are coming up with an EO. [It’s] basically a statement of the President, what his stand is, and how he feels about [it]. He will show his strong position on the importance of RH implementation,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters recently.

Pernia, who is also the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said the Department of Health (DOH) is currently drafting the EO mandating full RH Law implementation.

The plight of Ademu and other teenage mothers

Esther Ademu is a 15-year-old single mother trapped in Ongino-Kumi Hospital following complications of childbirth.

She is stuck because she cannot afford to clear the over sh1m bill for a caesarean section and treatment for sepsis and anaemia, complications she suffered after giving birth at the private hospital five months ago.

But even if the bill is cleared, Esther is stuck because she has nowhere to go.

Nigeria requires $12m yearly for family planning, lifesaving drugs

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says Nigeria requires between $12 million and $16 million yearly to procure family planning commodities and lifesaving drugs.
Of this figure, the Ministry of Health has pledged to budget $3 million for next year.Executive Director of the UNFPA, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin stated this in a statement at the end of his visit to Nigeria.

Osotimehin noted that the inability of Nigeria to provide sufficient funds to procure these commodities would not affect UNFPA’s contributions to Nigeria, which amounted to about $7 million for commodities and lifesaving drugs in 2015.

He described the $12 million to $16 million funding requirement as a small amount considering the huge return on investment, saying, “nobody can place a value to life.”

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