Rwanda is this year’s host for the largest scientific conference on reproductive health and reproductive health.
Held every two years, the 5th International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) at Kigali’s Convention Centre (November 12th-15th 2018) brought together over 3500 delegates from 100 countries to brainstorm on expanding family planning access to a targeted 120million women by 2020. The first ICFP Conference was hosted in Kampala, Uganda in 2009.
Rwanda was considered the choice for this year’s conference because of its government’s commitment to family planning as a way to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for the sustainable development of its people and the world.
The country was noted to have made a dramatic rise in its contraceptive prevalence rate since 2000. Its total fertility rate resultantly dropped from 6:1 in 2000 to 4.6 in 2010.
Donors announced US$350m in additional family planning funding as part of plans to expand contraceptive access in developing countries.
A press release from New York based Global Health Strategies, the publicists for the conference, listed the donors as the
⇒ United Kingdom’s Department for International Development- which is investing over £200 million (approximately $260M USD) in a new flagship program Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH). WISH which will ensure six million couples can reliably gain access to life-saving voluntary contraception in some of the world’s poorest countries, every year of the program.
· Canada to release US$78.8m (Can$104.4m) for projects that take a comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including universal access to family planning and access to safe and legal abortion.
· The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched an US$18 million family planning fund, managed by UNFPA Supplies, for the Ouagadougou Partnership countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo): $15 million for a commodity matching fund and $3 million USD for accompanying technical assistance. The commodity matching fund will allocate two dollars for every additional dollar that these countries invest into family planning from domestic resources.
Youth who also have a separate conference for themselves as part of the main conference and said to be facing barriers in trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies, were named as main new outreach targets.
The barriers youth listed that they face when trying to access family planning (to guard against unintended pregnancies) were stigma, misinformation, provider bias, high costs and stock-outs.
Rwanda’s First Lady (in spectacles) with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health Dr. Diane Gashumba on the 2nd day of the Conference (Government of Rwanda photo).