International conference ends with call to achieve universal access to family planning services

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-16 00:29:46|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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KIGALI, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The 5th edition of the International Conference on Family Planning concluded Thursday in Rwandan capital Kigali, with a call to accelerate efforts towards achieving universal access to family planning services by 2030.

The four-day conference, co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and Ministry of Health of Rwanda, brings together more than 3,700 delegates including health experts, government officials, UN officials, philanthropists, youth, representatives from civil society organizations and media, among others, from around the globe.

Beth Schlachter, executive director of UN-backed advocacy group Family Planning 2020, at the closing ceremony emphasized the need for efforts to increase global funding to strengthen family planning services and realize universal target of 2030.

There has been a steady increase in the use of modern contraceptive methods in the world's poorest countries, though achieving universal family planning services access progress has been slow, she said.

"We call for greater investments needed to meet women's sexual and reproductive health needs in developing regions across the globe," said a joint declaration of participants read at the closing ceremony.

Participants in the declaration renewed their commitment to be family planning advocates and ensuring rights for comprehensive family planning and guarantee access to modern contraception methods to poorest countries.

The declaration also emphasized the need to mobilize more partners, especially the private sector, religious leaders, academia and civil society organizations, to promote comprehensive care in reproductive, maternal and adolescent health by strengthening health workers' capacity.

Uganda and Burkina Faso were awarded with Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning Award at the closing ceremony, which recognizes governments that have made significant advancements and extraordinary achievements in family planning.

If all women in developing regions with an unmet need for contraceptives were able to use modern methods, an additional 36 million abortions and 76,000 maternal deaths would be prevented every year, according to the United Nations Population Fund.