Family planning services to get 90 million pound boost


Ethiopia is set to receive 90 million pounds from the UK through the Department of International Development, to support family planning initiatives. The fund comes through the Family Planning by Choice program, an initiative of the UK.
The program will work with the Federal Ministry of Health to provide millions of women access to modern, voluntary family planning services across the country.
The Family Planning by Choice program was announced at the London Family Planning Summit on July 11, 2017. The Summit, co-hosted by the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, Melinda Gates, co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Natalia Kanem from the UN Population Fund – UNFP, looked at practical ways to reduce costs and increase availability for the millions of women who want contraception, but can’t afford it or can’t access it.
“It’s truly astonishing that in today’s world there are still 214 million women around the world who do not want to get pregnant, but who are not currently using modern methods of family planning. Britain is leading the world on sexual and reproductive health, helping millions more women in the world’s poorest countries to access and use desperately-needed family planning services,” Priti Patel said.
In Ethiopia, the program aims provide 13 million women with direct access to family planning information, support 6 million current family planning service users and attract three million voluntary users as well as prevent 15 million unwanted pregnancies and 300,000 maternal child deaths.
The program will also help over 3,000 health facilities, mostly rural health centers, to provide quality family planning services, establish 100 Quality Assurance Hubs at referral and general hospitals and establish 10 family planning Centers of Excellence at teaching hospitals.
Studies show that Ethiopia has made significant progress in increasing modern family planning uptake, nearly one-in-three women in Ethiopia are now using modern family planning methods, compared to less than one-in-thirty 25 years ago.
However, the country’s population has doubled in the last 25 years, from around 50 million in 1991 to 102 million in 2016. If the current fertility trend continues, the country’s population is likely to double again in the next 35 years, which could undermine Ethiopia’s ambition to reach middle income status by 2025.
Three and half million or one-in-five married women of reproductive age are currently not using contraception, but wish to postpone their next birth, or stop childbearing altogether. This program will target these women.