New Report on Global Family Planning Charts Increase in Voluntary Use of Contraceptives by Women and Girls in the World’s Poorest Countries

Family Planning 2020’s (FP2020) annual progress report, launched today, charts progress in 2017 towards enabling 120 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use modern contraceptives by the year 2020. As of July 2017, more than 309 million women and girls in the 69 FP2020 focus countries are using a modern method of contraception. This is 38.8 million more than were using contraceptives in 2012 when FP2020 was launched. According to the new report, the use of modern contraception in FP2020 focus countries from July 2016–July 2017 prevented 84 million unintended pregnancies, 26 million unsafe abortions, and 125,000 maternal deaths.

FP2020: The Way Ahead reveals that Africa accounts for almost half of the additional users of contraception. As of July 2017, 16 million additional women and girls were using a modern method of contraception in the FP2020 countries in Africa as compared to 2012. In Eastern and Southern Africa, unmet need for modern methods has dropped by more than 3 percentage points since 2012 – by far the largest change of any FP2020 region.

More than half of the girls and women who are considered “additional users” are in Asia: 21.9 million. Asia includes four of the five most populous FP2020 countries – India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – and progress in these countries has a large influence on the total number of additional users. Because modern contraceptive use rates are already higher in Asia, the rate of contraceptive use is growing more slowly than in Africa. In 2017, it is estimated that 38% of all women of reproductive age in Asia are using a modern method.

“FP2020 is a country-led 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,” explains Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of FP2020. “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.”

Over the past five years, FP2020 has pioneered a country-led, globally-backed development partnership that brings together governments, policymakers, program implementers, service providers, and donors to ensure that health systems in participating countries are becoming better aligned to meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of women and girls. The partnership, which embraces a shared responsibility for creating a world where all women and girls can freely determine their own futures by deciding whether and when to have children, and what size family is best in their particular circumstances, continues to expand year by year.

“The family planning community is united, resilient, and ready to meet the future,” says Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA and Co-Chair of the FP2020 Reference Group. “There may be uncertainties on the horizon, but our community’s dedication to women and girls is stronger than ever.”

This was evident at the 2017 Family Planning Summit in July, when a total of 74 commitment-makers stepped forward with new and renewed commitments to fund, expand, and support rights-based family planning – including 25 new partners making FP2020 commitments for the first time. With new commitments this year from Chad, Haiti, and South Sudan, the FP2020 partnership now includes 41 of its 69 countries.

Shifting donor priorities in 2017, including in the U.S., created an uncertain environment for family planning and broader health programs in developing countries around the world. “For all of us who believe that rights-based family planning is fundamental to achieving a healthier, more prosperous, just and equitable world, these are uncertain times,” said Schlachter.

FP2020: The Way Ahead contains a much-anticipated section on measuring progress through the monitoring of family planning data across the 69 countries. This section is designed to help family planning stakeholders assess progress at the global, regional, country and even local levels. Many countries rely heavily on this data as they develop and refine their efforts to advance rights-based family planning programs.

The report reveals that injectables are the most common contraceptive method in use in 28 of the focus countries, followed by pills in 16 countries, condoms in 9 countries, and IUDs in eight countries. Implants and injectables are continuing to increase in prevalence.

Rights-based family planning programs 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.

The report shows that the way ahead is charted and that FP2020 is taking advantage of all opportunities. “We’re witnessing significant growth in access to contraceptives, supported by strong engagement from governments and civil society,” said Dr. Chris Elias, President of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Co-Chair of the FP2020 Reference Group. “The report paints a clear picture of where we’re succeeding and where we need action. Young women are counting on leaders to deliver because access to contraceptives helps millions of women and girls lead healthy, productive lives.”  

If FP2020 is to meet its ambitious goals, the report concludes, then commitment-makers must honor their promises; country governments must do more to provide health care for their citizens; and those citizens must continue to hold public officials to account.

For more information, contact Elise Walter, Ewalter@familyplanning2020.org or +202.615.3601   

 

 

Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have.

Opinion: How Cross-Sector Collaborations Can Accelerate Progress Toward Gender Equality

It is increasingly acknowledged that the global gender gap is severe, with major negative economic and social consequences, and that accelerating progress toward gender parity has enormous benefits. Yet progress has been slow. One answer is collaborations — partnerships for parity — but they have to be put together carefully if they are to be effective.

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP growth each year to 2025 if all countries were to match the progress toward gender parity of the country in their region with the most rapid improvement. This is equivalent to the current GDPs of Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined.

Making progress in bridging pervasive gender gaps and achieving this potential for inclusive growth will require changing our current approach. Take progress toward equality for women in the workplace: on the current trajectory, the World Economic Forum reckons it will take 81 years to close the gap completely. Similarly, MGI notes that the average maternal mortality rate fell from 276 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1995 to 135 in 2013; at this rate of decline, the rate will still be as high as 84 deaths in 2025.

Watch Highlights from the Landmark 2017 Family Planning Summit

On July 11, 2017, policymakers, donors, and advocates from around the world gathered at the Family Planning Summit in London, UK, to discuss efforts to reach our Family Planning 2020 goals and ensure that more women and girls around the world are able to plan their families and their futures. Watch highlights from this landmark event here. 

 

FDA: 51 Contraceptives, Including Implanon, Can’t Cause Abortion

The 51 contraceptive products, including the controversial Implanon and Implanon NXT, that were covered by the temporary restraining order (TRO) of the Supreme Court, have been determined to be non-abortifacient, or cannot cause abortion, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In Advisory No. 2017-302 dated Nov. 11, 2017, the FDA said it has already concluded the re-evaluation of the 51 contraceptive products.

“Per the FDA Resolutions dated 10 November 2017 (on the applications for recertification filed by the Market Authorization Holders [MAHs] with opposition filed by Alliance for the Family Foundation, Philippines, Inc. [ALFI]), the foregoing contraceptive products have been determined to be NON-ABORTIFACIENT,” the FDA said in its advisory.

 

Implanon Contraceptive Implants Do Not Induce Abortion – FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has certified that contraceptive implant brands Implanon and Implanon NXT are non-abortifacients or do not cause abortion.

The FDA on Sunday, November 12, released the results of its re-certification process of all 51 contraceptives covered by the two-year-old temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) against the Reproductive Health (RH) Law. The document was dated Friday, November 10.

“Per the FDA’s Resolutions dated 10 November 2017 (on the applications for recertification filed by the Market Authorization Holders [MAHs] with opposition filed by Alliance for the Family Foundation, Philippines, Inc. [ALFI]), the foregoing contraceptive products have been determined to be non-abortifacient,” the FDA advisory read.

The resolution of the FDA, which began its review process in late August, signals the imminent lifting of the SC TRO. This is because the High Court had ruled in 2015 that the TRO would be deemed lifted if, after compliance with due process, the “questioned drugs and devices are found not abortifacient” by the FDA.

FDA Declares 51 Contraceptives as Non-Abortifacients

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday released a list of 51 contraceptives which will be re-certified as safe and non-abortifacient, paving the way for the implementation of one of the key measures of the Reproductive Health Law.

This effectively lifts the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in 2015, and allows the Health Department to distribute over 200,000 implants in their inventory before they expire in September next year.

“Per the FDA’s Resolutions dated 10 November 2017, the foregoing contraceptive products have been determined to be non-abortifacient,” the FDA said in its advisory.

Included in the list are implants like Implanon and Implanon NXT; injectables like Protec, intrauterine devices Mirena and Securit-T; and pills or oral contraceptives like Estrelle, Daphne, Yasmin, and Nordette, among others.

Indonesian-Nigerian Vice Presidents Discuss Bilateral Issues

Vice President Jusuf Kalla held bilateral meeting with Nigerian counterpart Yemi Osinbajo here on Tuesday to discuss bilateral issues. 

The meeting was held behind closed door close on cooperation in investment and family planning program. 

Jusuf Kalla was accompanied by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister of National Development Planning/head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro and Industry Minister Enggartiasto Lukita.

“The Nigerian Vice President came to discuss a lot of issues such as investment and family planning,” Jusuf Kalla said after the meeting at VIP waiting room of the Halim Perdanakusuma airport, East Jakarta. 

DKT Aims to train 1000 healthcare providers in Lydia IUD training in Nigeria

DKT Nigeria is helping to transform access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), IUDs and Implants. Almost all clinicians provide oral contraceptives and condoms, but fewer offer IUDs or implants. To overcome this gap, we are offering training & supportive supervision interventions on IUDs designed to increase health providers knowledge and counseling skills of LARC methods in Nigeria.  

DKT Nigeria developed a training curriculum that gives doctors and nurses the skills to educate young women and couples about LARCs. The training includes a classroom session followed by a practical hospital-based session for insertion of IUDs conducted by our experienced trainers. After the training, each trainee undergoes intensive supportive supervision from our in-house clinical team and help providers to integrate IUDs and implants into routine contraceptive care by improving method specific knowledge and counseling and placement skills.  

In the pilot phase, DKT trained 50 providers in Lagos with training and supportive supervision. In next 18 months, DKT aims to train 1000 doctors and nurses across Nigeria to improve access to LARC methods.

If you are a healthcare provider and interested, please send us an email to  info@dktnigeria.org or call 0812 991 7857 to register for the training program.

Re: Early Impact Of The Protecting Life In Global Health Assistance Policy In Kenya And Uganda

Dear Secretary Tillerson:

We are writing to share our initial research findings and recommendations on early implications of the US government’s ‘Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance’ policy [hereinafter ‘the policy’]. This research included interviews with representatives of 45 organizations in Kenya and Uganda that currently receive US global health funding, many of whom had planned to apply for renewals or new funds in the coming year. These organizations provide health services or conduct health advocacy and range from small community-based organizations to large nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that work in many different countries. We have been in touch with USAID during this process and have incorporated information provided by USAID in an October 11, 2017 letter responding to our research queries.

As you know, over many decades, the US government has made deep and long-term investments in Kenya and Uganda that have saved lives and contributed to important health gains. However, both countries still confront high incidence of HIV/AIDS and poor reproductive health indicators including high rates of preventable maternal deaths.

We have outlined our key findings below on how early impact of the policy is already beginning to undermine local health systems and health gains and have attached a detailed summary of our research for your consideration ahead of the six-month review of the policy scheduled for November.

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