Press Releases

UNFPA Press Release - World Population Day

 

PRESS RELEASE                                                         

 

Withhold till 10th July 2017 11:00am

 

July 10, 2017, Dar es salaam, Tanzania: UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund in collaboration with the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and other stakeholders will join the international community in commemorating the World Population Day on 11th July 2017 at Mwembe Yanga Grounds in Temeke Dar-es-Salaam from 0900 to 1300h, the guest of honor:The Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr. Hamis Kighwangala, with the global theme of “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.”

 

“For women to reach their full potential and be more economically productive, they must be able to exercise their right to decide for themselves whether, when or how often to have children. Upholding this right will lead to improvements in health and produce an array of benefits: greater investments in schooling, greater productivity, greater labor-force participation and eventually increased income, savings, investment and asset accumulation.” Late Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director (1949-2017)

 

Investing in family planning is investing in the health and rights of women and couples worldwide. These investments also yield economic and other gains that can propel development forward and are thus critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

 

“Investments in family planning offer immense opportunities for women, and the numbers speak for themselves.  Research shows that for every dollar governments invest in family planning, up to $6 can be saved in other development areas, such as poverty reduction, education, or disaster preparedness projects.  These economic indicators reinforce the life-changing impact family planning has for women and their families and further solidify the simple fact that family planning is a sound investment.”According to Dr.Hashina Begum, acting country representative UNFPA Tanzania.

 

Dr. Hashina Begum, urged that. “Family planning use prevents more than one-third of all maternal deaths worldwide by allowing women to delay or space births, avoid unintended pregnancies and prevent unsafe abortions. In 2008 alone, contraceptive use was estimated to avert 44.3% of all maternal deaths worldwide—32.0% in sub-Saharan Africa and 43.9% in Tanzania”.

This year’s World Population Day, 11 July, coincides with the London Family Planning Summit, the second meeting of the consortium of development partners and stakeholders that make up the FP2020--Family Planning 2020 initiative, which aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020.

 

In a bid to reduce maternal and child deaths, the government plans to expand access to life saving family planning to 4.2 million more women and girls by 2020. “By 2020, the government is committed to increasing its modern contraceptive prevalence rate to 45 per cent,” According to Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.

 

She added "Tanzania is committed to ensure strong political commitment to family planning at all levels, increase national financing for family planning commodities as well as to strengthen contraceptive commodity security."

 

Family planning and fulfilling unmet demand

 

Access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human right, is central to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and is a key factor in reducing poverty. Yet, some 214 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are currently not using safe and effective family planning methods. Most of these women with an unmet demand for contraceptives live in 69 of the poorest countries on earth. Fulfilling their unmet demand would save lives by averting 67 million unintended pregnancies around the world and reducing maternal deaths by one third of the estimated 303,000 maternal deaths that will occur in 2017.

 

Modern contraceptive use has nearly doubled worldwide from 36 per cent in 1970 to 64 per cent in 2016.  In Tanzania modern contraceptive use rate has increased from 7% in 1991/92 to 32 percent in 2015. More than one in five currently married women has an unmet need for family planning in Tanzania. Tanzania Total Fertility=5.2   where;

  • With no education fertility is 6.9
  • With Secondary+ Fertility is 3.6
  • 22% of currently married women have an unmet need for family planning
  • The modern contraceptive prevalence rate among married women is 32%; 6% use a traditional method
  • 61% of married women have a demand for family planning, and 53% of the demand is satisfied by modern methods
  • 47.3% of all women are in the reproductive age (15-49 years)

At this rate the country’s population will continue to be dominated by children and youth for at least a generation and Fertility levels will continue to determine the rate of population growth and age structure in the future.

Family planning and adolescent girls

 

In 2015, 15.2 million adolescent girls will give birth, a figure rising to 19.6 million by 2035 if current patterns remain unchanged.In Tanzania 21% of young women between the ages of 15-19 are already mothers and 6% are pregnant with their first child

 

Family planning in crises

 

Family planning is a life-saving intervention: it prevents unintended pregnancies and in turn reduces health risks of childbirth and recourse to unsafe abortions. Male and female condoms can also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections. This type of intervention is critical in humanitarian crises, often characterized by sexual violence, intimate-partner violence, child marriage and high-risk behavior, such as survival, transactional and commercial sex. Yet, across and within crisis settings, family planning services, including contraception, are often limited, inadequate or even non-existent. Even where family planning services do exist, the subordinate status of women and girls within the family in many societies may deny them access because they cannot negotiate use with their partners.

 

Family planning and economic and social development

 

Extreme poverty can be eradicated. However, doing so requires understanding the complex relationship between family planning, gender equality and economic growth. The rights of women and girls to decide freely and for themselves, on whether, when and how many children to have, brings women and girls more opportunities to become wage earners, boosting family income levels. As women gain access to productive resources, they also report better health outcomes, achieve higher levels of education and experience a lower incidence of intimate-partner violence.

 

These same positive effects are also true for their children. Adolescent girls who delay pregnancy tend to complete more years of schooling, and women with more years of school tend to have fewer children. Investments in family planning thus create a reinforcing cycle of empowerment, supporting healthy, educated and economically productive women and families.

 

For each dollar spent on contraceptive services cost of pregnancy-related care is reduced by $2.30 due to declines in unintended pregnancies.

 

 

Family planning and the demographic dividend

 

In addition, investments in family planning can contribute to a demographic dividend, which raises a country’s economic earning potential. When the size of the dependent population (i.e., children and the elderly) shrinks relative to the size of those in working age, it creates an economic advantage—especially in countries with lower levels of overall national earnings—the combination of increased wage earners, decreased dependency and the right policies can fuel major economic growth.

 

 

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