Masebo wants improved awareness, accessibility to contraceptives

Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, has called on various stakeholders to improve awareness and accessibility to safe, effective, and affordable contraception for all eligible persons of reproductive age.

Ms. Masebo explained that the promotion of family planning in Zambia has the potential to prevent 32 percent of all maternal deaths and nearly 10 percent of childhood deaths.

She said family planning spans across several sectors and is therefore a developmental issue.

The Minister of Health was speaking when she officiated at the commemoration of the world contraception day in Lusaka today.

She, however, noted that the rapidly growing population and consequent child dependency undermine the capacity of families and the government to provide quality social services, including health and education.

Ms. Masebo said investing in family planning would help the country achieve positive health outcomes and begin harnessing demographic dividends.

“A well managed growth of population is directly related to a well managed environment,” Ms. Masebo stated.

She reiterated the government’s commitment to promoting universal access to sexual reproductive health services such as family planning.

And Uganda’s Minister of State for General Duties, Bangirana Kawooya, urged women to take control of their bodies.

Ms. Kawooya said both men and women have the right to their bodies hence the world contraceptive day is a key reminder to the many options available.

Meanwhile, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Gift Malunga, commended the government and its partners for making contraceptives and other family planning methods available, acceptable and accessible to all eligible people on a voluntary basis.

Ms. Malunga said contraceptives are important as they enable sexually active people to make informed decisions on their sexual reproductive health.

She added that various researchers have demonstrated that modest investments in family planning can save lives and significantly improve maternal and child health.

“Access to modern contraceptives has transformed the lives of millions of people around the world,” Ms. Malunga indicated.

The World Contraception Day was being commemorated under the theme; ‘Contraception: an investment pillar for economic development’.