The Ministry of Health through the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion and Mother and Child Health Center, with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNFPA Supplies Programme and the Joint SDG Fund, conducted a two day workshop from June 21 to 22, 2022 with the aim to review progress and achievements of the Family Planning programme since last year. The meeting agreed that the should be improved the data analysis and used including private providers and reduced unmet need among adolescent, improved the supply chain management, capacity building for health providers on service and information and, increased the investment on Family Planning programme from domestic resource.
The Government of Laos has made a Commitment to the ICPD25 (International Conference on Population and Development 25) that by 2030, it will end the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) through the quality of care and the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Strategy and policies and ensure the provision of health services based on availability, affordability and high quality services, and provided a target for increasing the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) to 70%. The current estimate for 2021 is CPR reached 53%, which means that Laos has to increase by 17% in the next 8 years to achieve the target set.
The Ministry of Health, who implements the programme, has made concerted efforts and investments in order to meet the targets. However, from 2012 to 2021, there had been only 190,000 additional users of Family Planning. There needs to be 140,000 additional users by 2030 to reach the target. Access to Family Planning services reduced drastically during the COVID19 pandemic. The programme will need to accelerate to ensure that those who need it can access Family Planning.
Family Planning is one of the three pillars that reduces maternal and newborn mortality rates and improves the health and wellbeing of women and their existing children. It allows women and men to decide whether to have children or not, when to have them, how many to have and how often to have them. In 2021, by up taking FP services, 243,000 unintended pregnancies were averted, 63,000 unsafe abortions averted and 170 maternal deaths averted.
In his remarks, Dr. Bouakeo Suvanthong, Deputy Director of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion said, “the increase of Contraceptive Prevalence Rate pre-COVID-19 was steady, and Laos was on its way to almost achieve the goal set. However, access to Family Planning reduced considerably during COVID-19 pandemic, which means that we really need to more than double our efforts if we still aim to meet our goal.”
The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Viengkhan Phixay, Deputy Director of Mother Child Health Center and Ms Siriphone Sakulku, SRH Programme Coordinator of UNFPA. It is well attended by Director/Deputy Director of Provincial Health Departments, key Statistics and Mother and Child Health Staff from all 18 provinces, as well as key staff from Ministry of Health relevant departments, and development partners who support Family Planning programme.
The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Viengkhan Phixay, Deputy Director, Mother Child Health Center, MOH
vkphixay [at] gmail.com
Tel: 020 22225953
Ms Siriphone Sakulku, SRH Programme Coordinator, UNFPA
ssakulku [at] unfpa.org
Tel: 020 22887631