UNFPA marks World Pop­u­la­tion Day as Myan­mar strug­gles with ac­cess to fam­ily plan­ning

Mizzima Business Weekly - - NEWS ROUNDUPS -

The UNFPA is cel­e­brat­ing World Pop­u­la­tion Day on July 11 un­der the theme “Fam­ily Plan­ning: Em­pow­er­ing Peo­ple, De­vel­op­ing Na­tions”.

As the UNFPA points out, thanks to vol­un­tary fam­ily plan­ning, mil­lions of women in Myan­mar are em­pow­ered to make a choice in the num­ber of chil­dren they want, and to start their fam­i­lies later in life. This gives them an op­por­tu­nity to com­plete their school­ing, earn a bet­ter liv­ing, and es­cape the trap of poverty.

In­vest­ments in fam­ily plan­ning cre­ate a re­in­forc­ing cy­cle of em­pow­er­ment, which sup­ports healthy, ed­u­cated and eco­nom­i­cally pro­duc­tive women and fam­i­lies, pro­pel­ling de­vel­op­ment for­ward.The theme for World Pop­u­la­tion Day, 11 July 2017, is “Fam­ily Plan­ning: Em­pow­er­ing Peo­ple, De­vel­op­ing Na­tions”.

The Day co­in­cides with the Lon­don Fam­ily Plan­ning Sum­mit, which will be at­tended by Dr Myint Htwe, Union Min­is­ter for Health and Sports. The Gov­ern­ment of Myan­mar and UNFPA, the United Na­tions Pop­u­la­tion Fund, are or­ga­niz­ing a Sum­mit satel­lite event in Nay Pyi Taw un­der the um­brella of World Pop­u­la­tion Day.

The Lon­don Sum­mit brings to­gether the stake­hold­ers of the FP2020 ini­tia­tive which aims to ex­pand ac­cess to vol­un­tary fam­ily plan­ning to 120 mil­lion more women glob­ally by 2020. In Myan­mar, the Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to FP2020 is to reach a mod­ern con­tra­cep­tive preva­lence rate (mCPR) of 60 per cent, and to re­duce un­met need for fam­ily plan­ning to be­low 10 per cent by 2020.

To­day, half of mar­ried women (52 per cent) in Myan­mar prac­tice fam­ily plan­ning. One in six women (16 per cent) have an un­met need for con­tra­cep­tives. This means that al­though they would like to, they can­not ac­cess mod­ern meth­ods of con­tra­cep­tion. This leads to un­in­tended preg­nan­cies, un­safe abor­tions, and ma­ter­nal and in­fant death, and it lim­its women in their work and ca­reer choices.

From 2014 to 2016, UNFPA pro­vided fam­ily plan­ning, and life-sav­ing ma­ter­nal and re­pro­duc­tive health com­modi­ties worth US$9.6 mil­lion, and in­vested US$1.4 mil­lion into a new lo­gis­tics sys­tem to track where sup­plies are be­ing used and how they are be­ing used. This con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the na­tional achieve­ment where, in 2016 alone, ac­cess to mod­ern con­tra­cep­tives and the avail­abil­ity of life­sav­ing medicines for moth­ers helped avert: 1,340,000 un­in­tended preg­nan­cies, 466,000 un­safe abor­tions, and 1,000 ma­ter­nal deaths

The right to ex­er­cise vol­un­tary fam­ily plan­ning is an in­te­gral part of the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals, in­clud­ing tar­get 3.7 to achieve uni­ver­sal ac­cess to sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health ser­vices.

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