Modern Contraception: From the Pill to Now
From the pill to the emergence of new long acting permanent methods, women around the world now have a variety of options to control their sexual reproductive health, Regine Sitruk-Ware, Executive Director of Research and Development at the Population Council, said Tuesday during a plenary session at Women Deliver: Delivering Solutions for Girls and Women.
Sitruk-Ware was joined by Gloria Quansah Asare, Acting Director of Family Health, Ghana Health Service, and Ward Cates, President of Research at Family Health International. The panel highlighted the history of modern contraception, the successes in family planning in the past 50 years, and the challenges ahead for family planning and reducing maternal mortality.
“There are so many great contraceptive options, so why aren't they being used?” Cates asked. He said that although contraceptive use is increasing overall, many effective methods are still underutilized, including the Standard Days Method, female condoms, male condoms, diaphragms, intrauterine devices (IUDs), implants, and vasectomy.
According to Cates, to eliminate unmet need for contraception and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) requires investment in health system strengthening, governance, finance, human resources, service delivery, commodities, and information.
In support of this charge, the Knowledge for Health project and organizations such as Family Health International, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, ICF Macro, USAID, and many others are collaborating and building toolkits that bring together the most relevant reproductive health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS information and disseminating it to the people who need it the most.
“The way forward must address the unmet need and make family planning [information and resources] accessible,” Cates said, adding, this will strengthen health systems and this will achieve the MDGs.
Chris Rottler, Senior Communication Manager
Stay tuned! K4Health will be providing live coverage throughout the conference.