BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Global Health and Family Planning 



Family planning is the act or practice of regulating the number of children and the spacing between their births, predominantly by means of artificial contraception or voluntary sterilization. Couples choose to plan their families for several reasons that include health, financial abilities and social responsibilities. it is a necessary and significant human right, essential to both gender equality and women empowerment. Given it’s significance, accessibility to, and choice for  safe, affordable and effective family planning should be a fundamental  right for all women. Unfortunately though, up to about 225 million women worldwide who intend to control, delay or stop bearing children are unable to access safe and effective family planning methods for a myriad of reasons. The major reason being that most of these women live in the poorest nations and parts of the world, where there is abject lack of information, services, access and support for family planning. These nations are also the same countries that lag behind in issues regarding gender equality and women empowerment, major social changes that emphasize the rights of women.

There are many benefits of family planning in addition to the most obvious which is to decrease the escalating and unsustainable world population. Reduced population growth is associated with many positive and healthy consequences such as poverty reduction, preservation of natural resources and all forms of development. Other benefits of family planning include:

  • reduces the need for abortion
  • reinforces people’s rights to choose or not to procreate
  • prevents deaths of mothers and children by preventing unintended pregnancies and births
  • empowers families to birth desired number of children and determine pregnancy spacing
  • secures women’s well-being and autonomy and supports health and development
  • enables people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health
  • prevents transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections

Given these benefits, it is therefore important that family planning is made easily available and accessible to sexually active people, including adolescents, through midwives and other trained health professionals. Midwives are specially trained to provide locally available and culturally appropriate contraceptive methods. Other trained health professionals such as community health workers, may provide counselling and distribute pills and condoms which serve as other family planning methods. Highly advanced or technical family planning methods such as sterilization including vasectomy and tubectomy, require the expertise of clinicians and specialists.

To promote family planning, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working to establish quality, safety and delivery standards and guidelines to help countries introduce, adapt and implement family planning tools and methods to meet their needs. Similarly, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supports and increases access to family planning by consistently supplying quality contraceptives, advocacy, data collection, networking important stakeholders and offering programmatic, technical and financial assistance to countries that need it.

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