KIGALI, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda on Thursday joined hands with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and development partners to launch Family Planning (FP) 2030 commitments, a global plan aimed at improving access to quality family planning and reproductive health services.
The five commitments made by the Rwandan government include expanding strategies for family planning awareness, working to address gaps in knowledge, attitude and behaviors on family planning and improve access to quality family planning services by increasing the number of service delivery points.
"We are joining FP2030 partnership, a global movement centered on human rights to ensure that family services are accessible and affordable to all women, girls and men in need," said Tharcisse Mpunga, Rwandan minister of State in charge of primary healthcare in the health ministry during the launch of FP2030 commitments in Kigali, the Rwandan capital.
He said that from 2015 to 2020 Rwanda has significantly achieved family planning services whereby the uptake of family planning health services increased from 53 percent to 64 percent for those who are using any family planning contraceptive method, and from 48 percent to 58 percent for those who are using modern contraceptive methods.
"As for the Rwanda FP2030 commitments, we are planning to achieve more on the benefit of our people whereby we need to increase the uptake up to 65 percent for modern contraceptive family methods by 2030," said Mpunga.
According to him, the commitments are not far from the government of Rwanda's political will in advancing sexual reproductive health including family planning.
Mpunga commended development partners and all stakeholders for their role in advancing family planning services in Rwanda.
He said that family planning methods helped Rwanda in reducing maternal and infant mortality in addition to other interventions where maternal mortality reduced from 476 per 100,000 live births in 2010 to 203 in 2020, and infant mortality rate from 50 per 1,000 live births in 2010 to 33 in 2020.
Speaking at the event, UNFPA Country Representative to Rwanda Kwabena Asante-Ntiamoah said that the government of Rwanda has played a key role in the family planning 2020 partnership when the country joined as one of the commitment-making countries.
"Building on the success of the 2020 partnership, we are ready to embark on the next decade of progress through the FP2030. Getting to where we are today has not been easy, women and girls have encountered obstacles in every step of the way," he said.
Asante-Ntiamoah said that cultural and religious factors still affect the access of married women and young people to family planning services.
According to Rwanda FP2030 commitments, the country will provide quality family planning and contraception services by increasing the number of health posts from 670 to 1,120 by 2030.
Rwanda will also increase the total demand for family planning from 78 percent in 2020 to 82 percent by the end of 2030 among men, women and young people.
FP2030 is the only global partnership centered solely on family planning and aims at bringing together the widest possible range of partners across disciplines and sectors, while situating family planning at the crossroads of global health, development, and gender equality agendas, according to UNFPA.
FP2030 is the successor to FP2020, a global initiative that ran from 2012 to 2020. Over the course of those years, FP2020 emerged as the central platform for family planning. ■