The second day of the Women Deliver conference was led by robust conversations and discussions about family planning. Wednesday’s events began with the plenary session: Global Progress on Family Planning—Putting Women at the Heart of the Global Health Agenda which was opened by Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Increased momentum has quickly developed worldwide for a global family planning effort to ensure more women have voluntary access to contraceptives since last year’s London Family Planning Summit.
The consensus throughout all of the family planning discussions (you can watch via Livestream) is that several important, systematic steps must first be achieved in order to ensure women and girls have access to adequate reproductive health including:
- bringing on more financial commitments in order to fund family planning commodities and services to reach an additional 120 million women
- ensuring that commitments are being honored
- creating iron-tight distribution channels in order to make sure women in even the most remote areas have access to family planning services, contraceptives
- engaging men and boys in the process in order to make sure that access to family planning does not become stalled in local areas or even on country or regional bases
During the Plenary Lunch: Developing Countries’ Strategies Towards Reaching the FP2020 Goals – Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Ethiopia, Matia Kasaija, Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda and Dr. Mojisola Odeku, Director, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative had a robust discussion about their respective countries’ work toward increased access to contraceptives.
I have to agree with Dr. Admasu, Ethiopia’s Health Minister. On a recent trip to Ethiopia I saw adequate supplies and information about contraceptives and family planning at every health post I visited.
- If you want to know individual country’s family planning coverage and unmet need visit the World Health Organization’s recently released World Health Statistics 2013.
- If you want to know all of the commitments from the London Summit on Family Planning visit Family Planning 2020.
Photo: UN Photo