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Family planning prevents 26m unsafe abortions annually – FP2020

By Asma’u Ahmad

The use of modern contraceptives in Family Planning (FP2020) focus countries prevented 84 million unintended pregnancies and 26 million unsafe abortions from July 2016 to July 2017, a report said.

The Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Annual Progress Report said that usage of modern contraceptives also averted 125,000 maternal deaths in the focus countries. The report was entitled: “FP2020: The Way Ahead 2016- 2017” was copied to newsmen in Lagos after its launch by the Executive Director, Family Planning 2020, Ms Beth Schlachter, on Tuesday in the United States.

FP2020 is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide freely whether they should have children, when and how many children they should to have. According to the report, injectables are the most commonly used contraception method in 28 of the FP2020 focus countries, followed by pills in 16 countries, condoms in nine countries and IUDs in eight countries.

It said that implants and injectables were recording continued increase in prevalence. “Rights-based family planning programmes have a greater ripple effect than almost any other development investment, from saving lives and
improving health to strengthening economies, transforming societies and lifting entire countries out of poverty,” it said.

The report said that if FP2020 must meet its target goals, commitment makers must honour their promises. It said that governments must do more to provide healthcare services for their citizens while the citizens must continue to hold public officials accountable.

Ms Schlachter had said during the launch of the report that FP2020 was making progress toward enabling more women and girls worldwide to use modern contraceptives by the year 2020. Meanwhile, a statement by the FP2020 quoted President of Global Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Co-Chair of the FP2020 Reference Group, Dr Chris Elias, as saying that focus would be on rights henceforth.

According to him, focus will also be on accountability, the financing landscape and the evolving global pathway that links FP2020 progress to universal access to reproductive health by 2030. The newsmen report that, at the Family Planning Summit in July 2017, three new and 33 revitalised FP2020 countries renewed their commitments with expanded pledges. Their commitments include outlining new objectives, dedicating larger budget allocations, delivering more resources and reaching more women and girls.

The countries include Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi and Mali. Others are Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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