Family Planning Options Essential For Strong Societies, Economies

“‘Unmet need,’ in the context of family planning, is a rather mundane term that masks an urgent social justice and human rights issue,” Kesetebirhan Admasu, minister of health in Ethiopia, writes in an AllAfrica opinion piece. “Policymakers, public health professionals and donors must provide the necessary leadership, commitment and resources to” provide the millions of women who lack contraceptive choices with access to family planning options, he writes. He discusses Ethiopia’s efforts to improve health care access for its population by training and equipping “38,000 government salaried health extension workers,” as well as implementing the Health Development Army initiative “to mobilize three million women volunteers across the country.” Noting Ethiopia will host the third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in November, Admasu concludes, “When people are able to plan their families, we will have societies where health systems are stronger, economies more productive, and rights more realized” (10/22).