Postpartum Family Planning Is Key To Preventing Maternal, Infant, Child Deaths
Devex: Opinion: An untapped approach to ensure healthier mothers and babies
Mindy Neiman, director of supply chain management at Merck for Mothers, and Maryjane Lacoste, senior program officer for family planning service delivery and quality at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“What if we knew there was a proven intervention that can prevent millions of maternal, infant, and child deaths? One that could make a dramatic contribution toward ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights by 2030, as laid out in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals? In fact, such an intervention exists. It entails ensuring that mothers who have just given birth are offered and have access to a full range of contraceptive methods before even leaving the facilities where they delivered. … We know that [postpartum family planning (PPFP)] works, and we know that the private sector is a vital partner in making it much more widely available. Addressing the barriers inhibiting its implementation and investing in the vast potential of this approach is a key piece of the puzzle to improve the health and well-being of millions of women and girls. … If we could then expand this to all the other countries in the world, how many more lives can be saved?” (10/1).