Nairobi – More women and girls have access to modern methods of contraception than ever before, a ground-breaking report on family planning in the world’s 69 lowest-income countries has found.
It reveals that 314 million women and girls are now using modern contraception, with 53 million additional users in the last seven years, and nine million in the past year alone. In Uganda, over three million women are using a modern method of contraception today, almost double the number of users in 2012.
Launched on the sidelines of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Nairobi, Family Planning 2020 (FP 2020)’s latest report is part of the 25-year arc of progress that has lifted hundreds of millions of women and girls since the Cairo Summit in 1994.
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) – is a global partnership that supports the rights of woman and girls to decide – freely and for themselves – whether, when, and how many children they want to have.
Uganda was part of the first group of countries to commit to the FP2020 partnership when it launched in 2012. Since then, the country has made significant progress toward increased uptake of family planning.
• In 2019, the report estimates that as a result of modern contraceptive use in Uganda, over one million unintended pregnancies have been prevented and over 250,000 unsafe abortions and 2,800 maternal deaths have been averted in the last year alone.
• Progress year-on-year indicates that health systems and service providers are not only keeping pace but also expanding services.
• Ugandan foundation, Samasha Medical, has developed the Motion Tracker, a mutual accountability mechanism to be implemented with government partners and a way for civil society to monitor performance. The Motion Tracker monitors FP2020 commitments in Uganda, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia.
• Governments and donors around the world are recognising the importance of family planning programs with donor government bi-lateral funding for family planning rising to $1.5 billion in 2018. This is the highest level since FP2020 was launched in 2012.
• The number of additional users of modern contraception in the 69 FP2020 focus countries has grown by 53 million since FP2020 was launched in 2012, including nine million additional users just since last year.
With almost 60% of its population under the age of 25, Africa is the world’s youngest region. Ensuring that young women and girls have access to family planning is central to the continent’s future development, paving the way for more educated communities, healthier populations and wealthier nations.
Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020, said: “The evidence is clear – when you invest in women and girls, the good deed never ends. Barriers are broken and opportunities open up that not only lift women out of poverty but can elevate society and bring about economic gains. No other single change can do more to improve the state of the world.”
She continued, “25 years on from the first ICPD, the family planning movement has gained huge momentum. Yet big challenges remain. With every day that passes, millions are denied the right to choose their own future. As we look ahead to 2030, we must continue to push for progress, build on what works well, and ensure we leave no woman or girl behind.”
Challenges remain significant as FP2020 approaches a key timebound deadline. Progress must keep pace to unlock the fullness of human potential
While progress has been significant, FP2020 approaches its deadline year and the initial numeric goal of reaching an additional 120 million women and girls has yet to be realized. The challenge of putting women and girls at the centre of development remains critical.
There are 926 million women of reproductive age today across the 69 FP2020 countries – 100 million more than there were in 2012. With this number expected to surpass one billion in 2025, millions of more women will need vital family planning services.
Uganda continues to face family planning challenges, with its fertility, maternal mortality, and teenage pregnancy rates still among the highest globally. The estimated percentage of women with an unmet need for a modern method of contraception (married/in-union) stands at 32.5% in 2019.