Progress towards Family planning goals significant but needs to pick up pace


 

 

FP2020 report progress reports lauds India’s decision to expand new methods of contraceptive in the family planning program

Mumbai, 29th December 2015 – More number of women around the world now have access to modern contraceptive method however this progress is slow on keeping pace with the projections made during the 2012 London summit on family planning. According to the ‘FP2020 Commitment to Action 2014–2015’ Progress Report, although an additional 24.4 million women and girls now have access to modern methods of contraception, this is 10 million fewer than the benchmark for 2015 projected at the time of the 2012 London Summit.

 

There is an increasing concern that India, one of the 69 FP2020 focus countries committed to FP 2020 goals, has to catch up on accelerating the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (a measure of the percentage of women who are practicing, or whose sexual partners are practicing, any form of modern contraception) that would benefit millions of women and girls who have never had access before, including the poorest, the most vulnerable, and the hardest to reach. Apart from India, nine other countries that need to increase modern contraceptive rates include Pakistan and Philippines which are home to 50% of the women of reproductive age across the FP2020 focus countries.

 

As per the progress report, in the last year alone, 80 million unintended pregnancies were prevented, 26.8 million unsafe abortions were averted, and 111,000 women’s and girls’ lives were saved due to usage of modern, effective methods of family planning.

 

The total global family planning expenditure is approximately US$12 per modern contraceptive user per year. Almost half of expenditures occur in just five countries— Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Egypt, and Bangladesh—and these five countries account for 70% of modern contraceptive users among the FP2020 focus countries.

 

In April 2015 the FP2020 Reference Group convened for a milestone meeting in New Delhi, India. After reviewing the progress of the initiative to date and assessing the need to fast-track efforts, the Reference Group urged partners to reinvigorate their FP2020 commitments with more ambitious objectives and innovative, practical strategies to meet them.

 

India has since then taken a major step in the right direction by approving injectable contraceptives for use in the public health system. This landmark decision expands the basket of choice for millions of Indian women, who will now have access to one of the world’s most popular and effective contraceptive methods.

 

In continuation with the vision of expanding the basket of choice, a number of new contraceptive methods is being planned to be introduced. Large scale pilots in India, Zambia, Malawi and Madagascar, will introduce four new product lines: a contraceptive gel, new barrier methods, a hormonal intrauterine system (IUS), and intravaginal rings (IVR). Most of these methods are woman-initiated, and each of them has key benefits that address women’s concerns.

As per Ms Poonam Muttreja, Reference group member FP2020 and Executive Director Population Foundation of India, “To achieve the FP2020 goal, India must increase the number of users of modern methods of contraception so that a greater proportion of all women and girls of reproductive age are served.  Offering more types of modern methods in family planning programs will result in higher percentages of contraceptive use. Each additional 1% point increase in the modern contraceptive prevalence rate can translate to 3.3 million additional women and help achieve FP2020’s goal and enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.

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