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Family Planning Summit Offers Opportunity To Integrate Reproductive Services With HIV, Other Health Initiatives

Noting that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.K. government will co-host an international family planning summit in London in July, Gavin Yamey of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco; Craig Cohen, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at the University of California; and Elizabeth Bukusi, chief research officer and deputy director of research and training at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, write in a BMJ commentary, “More than 120 million women worldwide aged 15-49 years have an unmet need for family planning, which is due a renaissance after years of neglect.”

They state, “The forthcoming summit in London represents a tremendous opportunity to get family planning back on the global agenda and to ‘reconnect’ it with HIV and other health services. Donors and high burden countries are arriving at an action plan with three broad components,” including raising $4 billion over eight years, launching new initiatives to improve access to and quality of family planning services, and monitoring and evaluating these strategies. “Governments and donors must be held to account for the financial commitments they make at the forthcoming summit, including resources to study the scaling up of family planning and integration. The health and development of communities in low-income countries depend on our collective ability to meet the family planning needs of all women and men,” the authors conclude (6/19).