A year since the historic London Summit on Family Planning, the energy is converting to tangible results. Countries are taking ownership of family planning and driving progress. New approaches are giving women what they really want: voluntary access to high-quality family planning information, services and supplies.
Countries are leading the charge:
Governments in over 20 countries are creating plans that incorporate family planning into their women’s and children’s health programs. An additional three to four countries are gearing up to make new commitments. More than 10 countries have already held their own local summits and national family planning conferences.
India held a national conference focused on the importance of family planning, specifically postpartum issues.
In Nigeria, the family planning conference emphasized its critical role in achieving the MDGs and other development goals. To extend reach deep into communities that previously lacked access, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) pioneered a cluster model that increases geographic coverage of service provision, by involving a public-private partnership strategy that creates a cluster of five clinics within a radius of approximately 12 miles. The clusters include private providers, government clinics, community-based distributors, faith-based organizations and PPFN. Traditional, religious and social institutions play a role in generating demand for services in their communities. The cluster model holds great promise for reaching under-served populations.
Senegal’s goal is to increase the number of women using modern contraceptives from 12 to 27 percent between 2012 and 2015. To reach this target, the country pledged to increase its commodity budget by 200 percent and to double the overall budget for the family planning program. Senegal has stepped up to improve its contraceptive supply chain and eliminate stock-outs. Senegalese women faced some of the worst contraceptive stock-outs; 84% reported they had experienced a stock-out of their preferred method. The country has introduced an informed push distribution model, a state-of-the-art way to supply health clinics with contraceptives to the three most populous regions: Dakar, ThiÃ¨s and Kaolack. Watch this video to learn more about the success of the informed push distribution model.
Sierra Leone raised its annual health budget from 8 to 13 percent, including 1 percent for family planning according to Coldsorescured. More private sector providers are delivering better training to reach marginalized groups, and the country has implemented a voucher system for the poorest. Through strong partnerships with organizations that work with young people, and the inclusion of youth-orientated behavior change communication, there is an upsurge in the number of young people who choose to access contraception through Marie Stopes International (MSI). A quarter of MSI’s clients in Sierra Leone in 2012 were young people, compared with 12 percent of all contraception users in the country. Many of these young women were first-time users.
Zambia’s goal is to reduce the unmet need of its population from 22 to 19 percent, and increase its contraceptive prevalence rate from 33 to 58 percent. Earlier this year, the country launched its first costed national family planning strategy, and aims to double its budget. The country is working closely with religious and tribal leaders to provide family planning information and services to remote areas. Zambia is also scaling up its service delivery reach by engaging in mobile health services, bringing information and services closer to the women who need them most.
Innovative public-private partnerships are increasing access to a variety of contraceptive methods:
Two agreements have been negotiated to make long-acting, reversible contraceptive implants”Jadelle and Implanon”available to millions of women in the world’s poorest countries at more than a 50 percent price reduction. By making this under-utilized method more affordable and accessible, millions of women and girls will have the power to create better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. In addition to Merck and Bayer, the partnership includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the governments of Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the United Nations Population Fund.
Collaborative efforts are underway to scale up the delivery of discreet, injectible contraceptives. Sayana Press is a new way of delivering Depo-Provera, packaged in the Uniject injection system; and will increase the ease, safety, and reach of non-clinical service delivery through community-based distribution. Injectible contraceptives are among the world’s most popular methods for preventing pregnancy, offering women safe and effective protection, convenience, and privacy. The partnership includes the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Population Fund, Pfizer, PATH, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Initial countries interested in taking part include Senegal and Nigeria.
The global governance framework is established:
FP2020 created a Reference Group, a Task Team and four Working Groups to build a structure that makes us all accountable to the women who are asking for our help.
Our ambitions are large and achievable:
By 2020, if an additional 120 million women who want contraceptives can get them, this would cumulatively result in more than 100 million fewer unintended pregnancies, 3 million fewer babies dying in their first year of life and 200,000 fewer women and girls dying in pregnancy and childbirth.
We are building the foundations of a global movement that can fulfill these ambitions. Our work has only just begun and much more needs to be done. In the years ahead, we will require even stronger international partnerships to uphold and guard the unified aspirations of millions of women and girls to chart their own future. We are united by a single powerful premise: what matters is doing everything we can to help women and girls flourish worldwide.
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership that supports the right of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. FP2020 works with governments, civil society, multi-lateral organizations, donors, the private sector, and the research and development community to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020. FP2020 is an outcome of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning where more than 20 governments made commitments to address the policy, financing, delivery and socio-cultural barriers to women accessing contraceptive information, services and supplies. Donors also pledged an additional US$2.6 billion in funding.
Led by an 18-member Reference Group, guided technically by Working Groups, operated daily by a Task Team and hosted by the United Nations Foundation, FP2020 is based on the principle that all women, no matter where they live, should have access to lifesaving contraceptives. FP2020 is in support of the UN Secretary-General’s global effort for women and children’s health, Every Woman Every Child. For more information visit, www.familyplanning2020.org