Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 November 2019:
A ground-breaking report on family planning in the world’s 69 lowest-income countries has been published today, showing that more women and girls have access to family planning than ever before. It reveals that 314 million women and girls are now using modern contraception, with 53 million additional users in the last seven years, and 9 million in the past year alone.
In Sierra Leone, over half a million women and girls are using a modern method of contraception, with over 250,000 additional users since the launch of FP2020 in 2012.
‘FP2020: Women at the Center’ has been produced by Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) – 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.
Launched on the margins of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Nairobi, FP2020’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.
Sierra Leone was part of the first group of countries to commit to the FP2020 partnership when it was launched in 2012. Since then, the country has made great progress toward increased uptake of family planning.
- In 2019, the report estimates that as a result of modern contraceptive use in Sierra Leone, over 200,000 unintended pregnancies, 70,000 unsafe abortions and 1,800 maternal deaths have been averted in the last year alone.
- Sierra Leone is integrating Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services into mainstream service delivery; and is also empowering midwives in its FP2020 commitments and action plans.
- 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 US$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 9 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 1 billion in 2025, millions more women will need vital family planning services.
In Sierra Leone, the estimated percentage of women with an unmet need for a modern method of contraception (married/in-union) stands at 27.0% in 2019.
As the global community looks ahead to the post-2020 framework, the importance of putting women and girls at the centre of development is paramount. More work is ahead, and the challenge will be to deepen existing commitments and approaches to ensure that the needs and rights of women and girls around the world are met and respected.
Other key findings from FP2020’s Progress Report 2019-2020 include:
- The FP2020 partnership continues to expand, with new commitments this year from Angola, the Central African Republic, The Gambia, and others.
- Modern contraceptive prevalence among all women (MCPR)—is rising. Across the 69 FP2020 focus countries, MCPR among all women of reproductive age has risen by more than 2% since 2012. The sharpest increase has occurred in Eastern and Southern Africa (7%).
- In FP2020 focus countries in Asia, approximately 38% of women of reproductive age were using a modern method as of July 2019, and the average growth across the regions of Asia has been 0.2 percentage points per year since 2012.
- Seven donors increased their funding of family planning in 2018: Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the US.
- India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia have the highest levels of domestic government expenditure out of all 69 countries.
Click here to download Sierra Leone’s 2019 Fact Sheet