In 2021, FHI 360 committed an estimated US$85 million over five years to support the goals of Family Planning 2030 (FP2030), a global movement dedicated to advancing the rights of people everywhere to access reproductive health services safely and on their own terms. As this effort advances, together we must reflect on the question: What is the future of family planning?
There is no question that the greatest health achievements under the Millennium Development Goals have focused on single diseases. Arresting the spread of HIV and AIDS and malaria is perhaps the most significant development success of the new century. And vaccination, especially of measles, is one of the reasons that deaths among older children have fallen faster than deaths among infants or women during pregnancy and childbirth.
In contrast, the lowest-performing areas across all eight MDGs — reducing infant and maternal deaths — are targets that don’t lend themselves to a single disease strategy. Just six countries have met the MDG target for reducing infant deaths, and only 15 countries have achieved the target for reducing maternal deaths.
Could these targets have actually been achieved if we had pursued an integrated approach to advancing the health of women and children? Did our fascination with and confidence in the segregation of single-disease initiatives cost us achievement in other areas requiring more complex solutions?
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A version of this post originally appeared on The Huffington Post. Reposted with permission.
An AIDS-free generation. Eliminating pediatric HIV infections and keeping mothers alive. Providing 120 million more women with more convenient choices of effective contraceptives to avoid unintended pregnancies.
At this week’s International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), we are examining the latest evidence on integrating family planning and HIV service delivery. It shows that stronger linkages between family planning and HIV programs are critical to helping us realize these ambitious goals for global health.
A small but growing number of HIV prevention, care and treatment programs offer women a range of contraceptives, along with counseling about family planning and safe pregnancy. The aim of these programs is to save lives by supporting the fertility choices of women living with HIV.
For women with HIV who want to have children, preconception planning, good prenatal care and emergency obstetric care are crucial to ensure safe pregnancies and healthy outcomes. Closely spaced pregnancies are more likely to lead to adverse outcomes — such as low birth weight, premature birth, infant death and maternal death — and HIV infection compounds that risk. Compared to HIV-negative women, women living with HIV are almost twice as likely to die in childbirth.