More girls, women embrace modern family planning

The number of women and girls using modern contraception in Rwanda and Burundi has increased significantly in the past one year, according to a new Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) report.
A woman takes a pill. More people have resorted to controlling birth. (Internet photo)
A woman takes a pill. More people have resorted to controlling birth. (Internet photo)

The number of women and girls using modern contraception in Rwanda and Burundi has increased significantly in the past one year, according to a new Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) report.

In 2013, the number increased by 20 per cent in both countries, with the majority using injectables as the most preferred method of contraception.

The report, “Partnership in Progress,” released a week ago, details achievements since the landmark 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.It also shows that governments are  making steady progress towards the  goal of enabling an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries with access to voluntary family planning information, services and supplies by 2020.

“Countries are stepping up their commitments to provide girls and women with the information and tools they need to plan their families and their future,” said Chris Elias, president of global development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and co-chair of FP2020’s Reference Group.

“We must use the data and lessons learned from the past two years to focus on high-impact interventions that unlock a virtuous circle of prosperity for families and entire communities.”

 The report explains that the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning added momentum to decades of efforts to provide access to modern contraception and reaffirm the right of all women and girls to decide freely and for themselves whether, when, or how many children to have.

“Commitments made to FP2020 by developing governments and the donor community are translating into real progress, highlighting the importance of mobilising resources and further strengthening the focus on adolescents and girls. As the global community works to shape the post-2015 development agenda, the need to maintain and build upon FP2020’s first two years of achievements is crucial,” says the report.

In 2013, donor governments provided $1.3 billion for family planning programmes, nearly 20 per cent more than in 2012. Generally in 2013, 8.4 million additional women and girls were using modern contraception compared with 2012 across the 69 FP2020 focus countries.

Local statistics

The national census of 2012 showed that Rwanda’s contraceptive prevalence increased from 10 per cent in 1990 to 45 per cent in 2012.

The census result showed that women in rural areas have 4.8 children on average, compared with 3.4 children on average per woman in urban areas.

According to information from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Rwanda, 19% of women in the country would want to have fewer children than they have now but they don’t because of limited access to contraceptives.

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