The Inspirer staff.
Leaders across the World congregated in Kigali for fifth edition of the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) have called on governments and other partners around the world to improve access to quality family planning services.
The on-going meeting which is taking place in Kigali wa officially opened by Prime Minister Ngirente who emphasized on great inclusiveness of leaders to help families get a better family planning services.
“Quality family planning services are strong means of improving lives of women, children and families; therefore family planning is not a women issue, it affects all of us” He said
He then urged the nearly 4,000 participants to share their experiences and best practices in family planning during the four days they will spend at the summit and also suggest how concrete actions to improve future family planning can be taken.
At the centre of the meeting will be deliberations on identifying next steps toward reaching the goal of enabling an additional 120 million women across the world to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020.
Rwanda, which reduced the fertility rate from 5.8 to 4.2 per woman between 2000 and 2015, has also established community based health insurance across the country which benefits 90 per cent of its population.
With “Investing for a Lifetime of Returns” as its theme, the conference seeks to highlight how investments into family planning help improve lives, with returns being seen in economic development as a result of better education, economic growth, and environmental protection, among other results.
Many participants at the meeting urged different stakeholders to work together to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted and safer births are secured for every new born.
Many experts at the meeting said that, to succeed in family planning, governments and other actors need to invest in empowering the girl child and ensure that more people are aware of it.
“Our politics puts women and girls front and centre. We have to be pioneers of women and girls’ rights. Let’s all use our combined powers to make sure all pregnancies are wanted and all births are safe,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister for International Development.
The Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Natalia Kanem, said that good family planning is at the heart of sustainable development and needs to be a human right.
“The right to family planning enables individuals and couples to choose whether or when to have children, and how many they will have. Upholding this right is not only a moral imperative. It is also a path to shared prosperity and sustainable development,” she said.
Delegates at the meeting, who include political leaders, scientists, researchers, religious leaders, policymakers, advocates, and youth representatives, will share best practices and discuss next concrete steps to achieve global family planning goals for four days.
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