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International Day of Families 2019: Five ways to improve family planning programs

Responsible Business | May 15, 2019


“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” – Brad Henry

International Day of Families is held annually on 15th May. It provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them. The 2019 observance aims at improving education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

Facts about family planning in relation to the world’s population:

  • 214 million women of reproductive age in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method
  • The population of Nigeria is projected to surpass that of the United States shortly before 2050, at which point it would become the third largest country in the world
  • The world population is still expanding at an incredible rate – growing by 1.10 percent per year, or approximately an additional 83 million people annually
  • Globally, use of modern contraception has risen slightly, from 54% in 1990 to 57.4% in 2015

Below you will find a list of 5 ways to strengthen family planning:

1. Boost funding for contraceptives

Photo credit: Pixabay

The availability of contraceptives often relies on funding from donor countries and sufficient investments from national governments. Problems persist with a lack of funding which leads to contraceptive shortages, interrupted supply chains, and an inability to guarantee contraceptive security. Tracking and partnering between public supplies and private distributors and retailers offers potential to reduce waste and cases where stocks run out.

2. Enhanced government support

Photo credit: Pixabay

Governments are essential brokers in securing and offering contraceptives as a human right through their health systems, together with their partners. The prioritization of sexual and reproductive health services within national and district-level governments is just as important as the support of international stakeholders.

3. Consolidate family planning into maternity services

Photo credit: Pexels

Integration of family planning into antenatal, postpartum, and child wellness services is proven to help women meet their contraceptive desires. Evidence from Kenya and other countries suggests that once women have been fully counseled on family planning usage and side effects, satisfaction and uptake increases while unmet need drops.

4. Increase family planning knowledge

Photo credit: Pexels

Family planning is also about knowledge, education and counseling. Many religious leaders are proving increasingly open to the argument that reproductive health for women is essential for community welfare. Text messaging is an effective way to link informal community dialogue about family planning to the formal health sector. These messages can convey key health information, dispel myths and encourage women to seek further information

5. Get men involved

Photo credit: Pixabay

In the majority of developing countries, men in resource-constrained settings are bringing in more income than women, and thus control resources for maternity care or family planning. They are often primarily focused about financing maternity care and family planning. Designing financial saving tools and increasing family planning knowledge among male partners is key here.


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