News / Africa

US Promotes Postpartum Family Planning in Developing Countries

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) operates a postpartum family planning program in 15 Asian and African countries.The US Agency for International Development (USAID) operates a postpartum family planning program in 15 Asian and African countries.
x
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) operates a postpartum family planning program in 15 Asian and African countries.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) operates a postpartum family planning program in 15 Asian and African countries.
Marthe van der Wolf
A new roadmap to improve postpartum family planning was presented at the International Conference on Family planning this week in Ethiopia. 

Postpartum family planning focuses on providing different kinds of contraceptives for women after childbirth and during the first 12 months of motherhood. The aim is to prevent another pregnancy right away, since that can have a negative health impact on both mother and child.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) operates a postpartum family planning program in 15 Asian and African countries, including Ethiopia.

Postpartum family planning needs are often overlooked, says Koki Agarwal, director of the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program.

“If these women were not to use family planning, then they would have shortened birth intervals, which would mean higher risks of mortality for their child," Agarwal said. "So even 30 percent higher risks for children who were born when the intervals are less than three years. And also the mothers themselves cannot recover and have problems with anemia and ability to breastfeed their child, so the child does not get full nourishment.”

The roadmap presented at the conference outlines a tracking system of postpartum contraceptive use, easy-to-understand information materials for families, and recommended practices for health workers.  

While development agencies say postpartum family planning is of crucial importance, advocating it is not always easy.

Nurse Tigest Yigezu works for one of the 16 health centers in Ethiopia that have implemented the postpartum family planning program. She makes daily house visits to mothers who have just given birth, and tries to convince families to use contraceptives.

Yigezu says there are no problems convincing families of the short-term family planning contraceptive but that male partners often refuse long-term use. She says it is mostly a cultural and religious issue, as children are seen as a blessing for the family.

Research shows 95 percent of postpartum women around the world want to avoid another pregnancy for at least two years, yet 65 percent do not use contraception.

In Ethiopia, only 19 percent of women with newborn babies use contraceptives. Shashemene Hospital started postpartum family planning advocacy and free distribution of contraceptives last year.

Director Wihid Gebrehiwot says his hospital has helped just 245 women, due to capacity limitations.

“The hospital cannot have all this family planning services," he said. "Even the government cannot provide such amount of free postpartum family planning methods, especially the long-term family planning services. And if you do not have the materials and logistics at hand you can not do anything.”

Gebrehiwot says it is unclear how the free distribution of contraceptives can continue, if the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program stops providing funding.

Ethiopia has met the Millennium Development Goal target on child survival by reducing its under-five mortality rate by 67 percent in the past two decades. More focus on postpartum family planning could further reduce the number of child deaths.

You May Like

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs