Family Planning and Reproductive Health

With an ever-growing population in this world comes new challenges to meet the needs of our people.  Inequality is highlighted within the context of reproductive health and family planning, with nearly one-third of all women, primarily in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries, lacking access to family planning methods.  For these women, family planning options are unavailable, unaffordable, and often prohibited by law.  The affects are tremendous with nearly 350,000 deaths related to complications of childbirth or pregnancy and 99% of them occur in these low- and middle-income countries.  The research that expanding access to family planning is essential, yet sometimes the draw of dealing with something such as infectious diseases first has lured funding away from reproductive health and family planning.  Integrating family planning and reproductive health with other services and/or interventions could potentially benefit many many lives.  Integration can help organizations maximize their investments in health while allowing providers to treat the health needs of individuals and families more efficiently.  This can lead to strengthening a health system within a country.  It is a collaborative effort to create policies, build capacity, and allocate resources, but it is a fight worth fighting.  [i]