Contraception at a crossroads
Giving women access to modern contraception and family planning helps to boost economic growth, while reducing high birth rates so strongly linked with poverty and maternal and infant deaths. This publication highlights the systemic problems that prevent women, men and young people from accessing reproductive health supplies, and provide recommendations on moving forward.
The paper notes that the health system is often a low priority in developing countries, and sexual and reproductive health has even less priority within health spending. Therefore, it invites stakeholders to increase funding for reproductive health supplies to levels that are in line with demand. In addition, it argues that reproductive health supplies must be incorporated into national health plans and budgeted for accordingly.
On the other hand, the paper emphasises that governments should increase collaboration with private sector stakeholders to ensure that reproductive health supplies are accessible for all people. Additionally, governments should create an enabling environment for sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Moreover, particular recommendations include:
- it should be ensured that a wide range of reproductive health supplies are included in the national essential drug list
- health system-strengthening initiatives and national health plans must include provisions for monitoring the distribution of reproductive health supplies
- investment in adequate storage facilities at national and municipal levels, and investment in logistics management systems (LMSs) is strongly recommended
- sexuality education should be made mandatory for young people in school, and universal access to sexuality education programmes for young people who are out of school should be supported
- capacity for quality of care should be built among all health professionals that deliver supplies, including health care providers, pharmacists and nurses
- adequate strategies should be implemented to increase male involvement, to reduce sexual violence and coercion, and to eliminate child marriage.