Family Planning: A Major Global Health Solution

It is not unknown that the global population has been growing exponentially for many years now. Globally, people who do not have access to birth control, including oral contraceptives, barrier methods, and a variety of other types, are at a severe disadvantage.

Many mothers find themselves having a child and immediately becoming pregnant with their next one. This increases the risk that children will become malnourished, neglected, or will not receive the adequate healthcare and attention that they need. According to the United Nations Population Fund, “225 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access to information or services to lack of support from their partners or communities” (“Family Planning”). In addition, mothers who are continually having children are at a much greater risk for facing challenges related to pregnancy, that can include death. The video below is a comprehensive clip created by Care, which is a global organization that focuses on bettering global health. This one discusses family planning in great detail:

This video reiterates that this issue is not just a woman’s problem, but it is a man and family’s problem as well. It specifically addresses the fact that many women from poor countries list access to family planning education and materials as one of their biggest challenges (“International Family Planning 101”). Family planning programs are always voluntary, based on specific needs, but women need to have the option to learn about and participate in these programs in order to choose if they want to partake.

This video also claims that implementing family planning on a global scale can cut maternal deaths by 2/3, reduce newborn deaths by 1/2, and lower unintended pregnancies by 2/3 (“International Family Planning 101”). All of these statistics can become realistic just by providing women with the option to choose when and how many times they get pregnant. This choice can lead to longer lives, smaller families, higher incomes, and the economic stability to provide education, food, clothes, and shelter to every member of a family.

As healthcare providers, it is important that we help to educate people about contraceptives and how to use them properly, “ensuring a steady and reliable supply of quality contraceptives, strengthening national health systems, and advocating for government-implemented policies that support family planning” (“Family Planning”). First and foremost, women need to know that options exist to help them control birth rates. With proper supplies and education, family planning can dramatically cause a decline in our growing world population and can greatly improve that state of global health as a whole.

Works Cited

“Family Planning.” United Nations Population Fund. UNFPA, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

“International Family Planning 101.” YouTube. Care, 2 July 2014. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

Photo from  Latin Excursions

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