ARTHUR MWANSA, Lusaka
ZAMBIA is committed to increasing its modern contraceptive prevalence from 33 percent to 58 percent by 2020 through comprehensive policy
and programming in response to women’s expressed needs, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya has said.
Dr Chilufya said the country is ready to increase access to family planning methods, especially for underserved populations using community-based distributors and referral networks to increase demand among citizens.
“With a modern contraceptive prevalence of 45 percent in 2014, the country needs further evidence-based programming to help meet the contraceptive needs of women and men,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said this yesterday in a speech read for him by Ministry of Health permanent secretary Jabbin Mulwanda at the evidence of action symposium under the theme “Family planning saves lives: Accelerating access to sexual and reproductive health and rights”.
He said the forthcoming family planning 2020 London summit presents an opportunity for renewed impetus which is aligned to the globally shared vision of achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health.
Dr Chilufya said Zambia has also established a strong co-ordination mechanism by having a family planning programme established with a budget line provided for in the yellow book.
At the same event, World Population Council president Julia Bunting said the council remains committed to realising Zambia’s vision for national access to reproductive health care and coverage for citizens.
Ms Bunting said investing in family planning is considered a development “best buy” as it enables women and girls the opportunity to decide if, when and how many children to have.
And United Nations Population Fund deputy country representative Chinwe Ogbonna said the agency is ready to partner with Government to sustain efforts to foster strategic alliances with all stakeholders.
Ms Ogbonna is pleased that Zambia, through the recently launched Seventh National Development Plan, has articulated pillars that recognise the quality and well-being of its population as critical levers for achieving people-centred and integrated socio-economic development.