Stakeholders in the health and population sector have backed calls for collaboration and local action to improve family planning access worldwide.
The call was made in Indonesia on Monday during the opening of the fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP).
Speaking in a telephone interview on Tuesday, Jesman Chintsanya (PhD), a lecturer in population and demographic studies at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in Zomba, said the country’s population growth rate is rising at an alarming rate and investing in family planning is important.
He said such an investment would benefit both government and individuals.
But he said investment in family planning goes alongside sensitisation to the people on the need to have fewer children as well as women empowerment because although there has been an increase in contraceptive prevalence rate, the total fertility rate (total number of children that a woman can bear) is still high.
He said there is a need to invest in sensitisation of people on the benefits of having fewer children and women empowerment in area of education.
Commenting on the same, health rights activist Maziko Matemba, speaking in a telephone interview from Lilongwe, said it is 100 percent needful for Malawi to invest in family planning if economic development is to be achieved and sustained.
Speaking at the ICPF opening, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) executive director Babatunde Osotimehin urged governments to recommit their efforts in increasing family planning services.
Currently, about 20 percent of married women in Malawi want to prevent or delay pregnancy, but are not using a modern contraceptive method according to a report by family Planning 2020 (FP2020) released in November 2015. n