Press Release

FAMILY PLANNING SUMMIT: RENEWING COMMITMENT TO THE FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAM

2 February 2019

Kabul, 2 February 2019 – The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in collaboration with UNFPA Afghanistan and other international health partners today convened a one-day national summit on family planning.

Afghanistan’s health sector has made remarkable progress over the last decade. This includes a significant decline in maternal mortality that is attributed to the increased promotion and delivery of family planning services. Despite such progress, family planning use has remained static – at 20 percent – over the last eight years.

The Government of Afghanistan has identified family planning as one of its key priorities. The low level of family planning use poses a threat to maternal and child health, household incomes and national economic development.

“Due to a high fertility rate, around half of country’s population is under 15 years of age. Continuing with the same fertility trend will increase the youth bulge. Given our limited resources, it would be difficult to provide opportunities to fulfil the potential of all the young people,” says Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, the Minister of Public Health.

The summit aims to mobilize the political commitment and leadership of government in coordination with other partners to enable investments for increased access to quality family planning services in Afghanistan. The event will bring together relevant government ministries, members of parliament, UN agencies, donors, civil society, the media, non-governmental organizations and religious leaders.

The Government of Afghanistan and UNFPA as well as national and international health partners renew their commitment to reach the most vulnerable people with family planning services in order to ensure universal access and address unmet needs.

“Universal access to voluntary family planning services can reduce maternal deaths by as much as three quarters and infant deaths by a fifth,” says Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi, UNFPA Afghanistan Country Representative. “Investing in family planning is also part of a larger effort to improve women’s education, employment and socio-economic progress. It’s about a new path to sustainable development.”

 

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For more information, please contact:

At the Ministry of Public Health: Dr. Zelaikha Anwari, +93 700034540, zanwari.mophrhd@gmail.com

At UNFPA Afghanistan: Dr. Abdul Malik Faize, +93 729 261 345, faize@unfpa.org