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Birth Spacing, Family Planning Counseling Integral To Achieving FP2020’s Goals

STAT: Birth spacing, and the information and tools to do it, can save women’s and children’s lives
Monica Kerrigan, vice president of innovations at Jhpiego

“…Access to family planning is one of the most cost-effective investments a country can make in its future. … In most countries, counseling about birth spacing and family planning has never been an integral component of the prenatal care and maternal and newborn health services. But it needs to become an urgent priority. … We also need to ensure that providers are competent and confident to provide the safe, effective, long-acting methods of contraception that women prefer, namely implants and IUDs. Supplies must be on hand so women can begin using these methods as soon after delivery as they choose. And we need new approaches for tracking and monitoring women so they and their newborns get comprehensive care, including immunizations and counseling on breastfeeding, nutrition, and family planning. FP2020’s ambitious goals require us to be even more innovative, committed, and persistent as we urgently focus on meeting the unmet need…” (3/21).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.