Swazi Observer - - NATIONAL NEWS - Sto­ries by Nozipho Sibiya

UNITED Na­tions Pop­u­la­tion Fund (UNPFA) has do­nated fam­ily plan­ning train­ing mod­els worth E500 000 to the min­istry of health.

The do­na­tion was handed over to the min­istry dur­ing the World Pop­u­la­tion Day com­mem­o­ra­tion held at Eswa­tini Chris­tian Uni­ver­sity on Wednes­day. The day was com­mem­o­rated un­der the theme ‘Fam­ily Plan­ning is hu­man right’.

The ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this equip­ment in­clude the Min­istry of Health Sex­ual Re­pro­duc­tive Health Unit, South­ern African Nazarene Uni­ver­sity (SANU), Uni­ver­sity of Swazi­land (UNISWA), Fam­ily Life As­so­ci­a­tion of Swazi­land (FLAS) and oth­ers.

The com­mem­o­ra­tion of the World Pop­u­la­tion Day was graced by Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment Prince Hlan­gusempi, Hho­hho Ad­min­is­tra­tor Prince Tshekedi and other govern­ment of­fi­cials.

UNFPA As­sis­tant Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive (Of­fi­cer-in-charge) Mar­garet Th­wala Tembe said fam­ily plan­ning had nu­mer­ous ben­e­fits to in­di­vid­ual, com­mu­ni­ties, the state and the world at large.

She said 700 mil­lion women and girls were us­ing the mod­ern meth­ods of con­tra­cep­tion, with the King­dom of Eswa­tini hav­ing 66.1 per cent of women of re­pro­duc­tive ages us­ing these mod­ern meth­ods.

“Fam­ily plan­ning is cen­tral to the at­tain­ment of SDG tar­get 3.7 on univer­sal ac­cess to sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health, be­cause of its mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits to the health and gen­eral well­be­ing of women,” she said.

She fur­ther stated that fam­ily plan­ning en­abled women to make choices, plan their preg­nan­cies and to par­tic­i­pate in pro­duc­tive work.

She said women who had fewer births, health­ier preg­nan­cies and safer de­liv­er­ies faced lower risks of death and im­proved over­all health. “Their ba­bies are born health­ier and their chil­dren’s health is bet­ter early in life.”

She com­mended the Govern­ment of Eswa­tini for its very suc­cess­ful fam­ily plan­ning pro­gramme. The num­ber of users of con­tra­cep­tion have grown year af­ter year, for ex­am­ple from 51 per cent in 2007 to 66 per cent in 2014,” she said.

She said it seemed young peo­ple still fell short in the ex­er­cise of the sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health rights

“The de­mo­graphic health sur­vey (SDHS) found that only 57 per cent of sex­u­ally ac­tive young peo­ple were us­ing a mod­ern method of con­tra­cep­tion, while 33 per cent wanted to use con­tra­cep­tion but for some rea­son, they were un­able to do so,” she said.

She said ac­cess to sex­ual and re­pro­duc­tive health ser­vices for young peo­ple would ad­vance Eswa­tini to­wards har­ness­ing its de­mo­graphic div­i­dend.

(Pics: Lucky Sime­lane)

HERE: UNFPA As­sis­tant Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive (Of­fi­cer-in-charge) Mar­garet Th­wala-Tembe dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of fam­ily plan­ning train­ing mod­els.

EN­TER­TAIN­MENT: Eswa­tini Chris­tian Uni­ver­sity stu­dents per­form­ing a play.

ALL EARS: At­ten­dees lis­ten­ing to speeches.

RE­MARKS: The UNFPA As­sis­tant Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive (Of­fi­cer in charge) mak­ing her speech.

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