Chanceline Nyiraneza’s life took a turn for the worse when she became pregnant at 17, while still in high school. She dropped out of school, was abandoned by her boyfriend, and lost the support of her family.
The consequences of an unwanted pregnancy turned out to be a huge burden for the teenager. Although her parents allowed her to stay at home, they stopped supporting her financially, which forced her to undertake odd jobs to earn money for herself and her baby. But help was at hand, at her local health center.
“Before I got pregnant, I didn’t know anything about family planning,” she said. While attending an antenatal care program, she received quality family planning services and counseling, which helped her make informed decisions about her body and her future.
” I got to know [about] family planning methods and their benefits, thanks to the program at the health center in Karengera, where I gave birth,” she said. “I decided to opt for an implant method (Implanon) [that lasts] three years. It was a decision I made with confidence, thanks to the information I received from the centre.
As a result, Ms. Nyiraneza regained her confidence and her hope for her future.
“My life has improved economically and socially, because even though I didn’t go back to school, I managed to [find] to work for economic empowerment, to be able to take care of my child,” she said.
A Choice in Modern Family Planning Methods
When her implant had to be renewed, she returned to the center and learned new methods of family planning. This time she chose to use Sayana Press.
“I decided to continue family planning. The nurse informed me about the new methods and I made the choice to adopt the Sayana Press method because it is easier to use,” she said. “After being trained to self-inject Sayana, I will be able to do it myself at home without going to the health center, and my privacy will be assured,” she smiles.
Family planning allowed her to focus on raising her son. Her new autonomy over her body and her reproduction gave her the confidence to plan her future.
“I feel comfortable. I can now plan my life and the future of my family. I know that I will raise my son, feed him and buy him clothes without any problem, because I work hard [without worrying about] having another baby that I hadn’t planned,” she said.
The magnitude of unwanted pregnancies in Rwanda
In Rwanda, gender-based violence and teenage pregnancies are a priority for the Rwandan government and for development partners. The Demographic and Health Survey (DHS 2019-2020) shows that 5% of women aged 15-19 have started having children, and this percentage increases rapidly with age – from less than 1% at 15 years old 15% at 15 years. the age of 19. Uneducated teens and those in the lowest wealth quintile tend to start having children earlier than their peers.
Of all births over the past five years and ongoing pregnancies, 61% were planned at conception, 27% were at the wrong time, and 12% were unplanned. The wanted fertility rate in Rwanda is 3.1, while the total fertility rate is 4.1. This suggests that Rwandan women currently have, on average, one more child than they would like. The more children a woman has, the more likely her most recent birth is to be unintended. Two percent of first births were unwanted, compared to 29 percent of fourth or more births. The proportion of unwanted births ranges from 3% among women aged 20-24 to 42% among women aged 40-44.
If key high-impact interventions are fully implemented—scaling up postpartum family planning, community-based family planning delivery, and introducing new methods—a 6% growth in family planning uptake is estimated, according to family planning goals. analysis that informed FP2030 commitments. This would increase the use of modern contraceptives in Rwanda from 58% to 65%.
Hold a promise
Rwanda is committed to fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and ensuring reproductive rights, ensuring equitable and universal access to health care, leaving no one behind and ensuring the universal access to sexual and reproductive health. This requires renewed attention in the delivery of family planning services, including last-mile services and funding to meet FP 2020 goals.
The Government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Health and its subsidiary centre, the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, is coordinating the implementation of Rwanda’s ICPD25 commitments, which include improving the delivery, access and uptake of family planning services, expanding the range of contraceptive methods available, including emergency measures. contraceptives to reduce unmet need for family planning.
Rwanda has made significant progress in the provision and use of family planning services, according to the Rwanda Demographic Health Survey VI (2019/20). Knowledge of modern contraceptive methods among women and men is high (99-100%), with total demand for family planning increasing from 72% in 2010 to 78% in 2020.
UNFPA, the United Nations Agency for Sexual and Reproductive Health, is supporting the Government of Rwanda to ensure an adequate supply of modern contraceptives and other reproductive health commodities, towards achieving the SDGs and delivering the three outcomes UNFPA Transformers – Ending Unmet Need for Family Planning, Ending Maternal Deaths, and Ending Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNFPA – Eastern and Southern Africa.
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