The government of Rwanda, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched 2030 commitments on family planning.
The new pledges that launched on Thursday, April 28, will replace the Family Planning 2020 pledges that officials said needed to be revamped.
“The population has increased, new contraceptive methods are available and there are many more changes in society today. Therefore, we also need to update our commitments and the strategies we use to address maternal deaths, poverty and unwanted pregnancies, among other issues,” said Dr. Tharcisse Mpunga, Minister of State for primary health care.
Results from previous commitments increased contraceptive use by 53-63% from 2015 to 2020, for those using any form of contraceptive, and increased modern contraceptive users by 48-58% during the same period.
“With these new commitments, we want to increase the number of users of modern contraceptive methods up to 65% by 2030,” Minister Mpunga announced.
He highlighted how beneficial this decision is for Rwandans as it reduces infant mortality rate, stunting, unwanted pregnancies, poverty and promotes gender equality.
The five commitments that will guide national family planning efforts through 2030 include:
Commitment 1: Expand family planning awareness strategies, to address gaps in family planning knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors and to increase total demand for family planning among community members, including men, women and youth in Rwanda.
Commitment 2: Improve access to quality family planning services by increasing the number of family planning service delivery points and the number of qualified health care providers with a view to increasing the use of family planning by here 2030.
Commitment 3: Expand the range of contraceptive methods available at all levels of family planning service delivery points by introducing new family planning methods.
Commitment 4: Link evidence-based programming for interventions to policy development and strategy formulation by conducting studies to inform policy, strategy formulation and evidence-based programming for high-impact interventions. impact.
Commitment 5: By 2030, the Government of Rwanda will increase domestic resources to fund family planning interventions from the current budget allocation.
Breaking the myths
Commenting on the above initiative, UNFPA Country Representative Kwabena Asante-Ntiamoah dismissed the prejudices surrounding family planning in different societies.
“Access to family planning services is a global problem; it is not related to abortion, it is a false narrative used by many people! On the contrary, family planning is a voluntary aspect allowing all individuals to make free decisions about the type of life they want to live,” he noted.
He added that family planning efforts are among the drivers of change in terms of the economy, education and socio-economic development and promised to work with the government to strengthen policy level commitments, strategies and products.
During the launch, a married couple testified about the impacts of family planning in their union.
Because of the importance they attached to family planning, the couple shared how they had to go through thick and thin to stick with services and make them work.
According to them, they agreed to use family planning pills and syringes, but these had many side effects for the wife, so the husband decided to intervene and opted for the vasectomy.
To support the above commitments, the government has pledged to increase permanent staff in health facilities and increase their capacity, work with more partners, and increase the health budget, among other initiatives.