Family planning experts representing 13 African countries have gathered in Nairobi to share promising family planning practices that generate community ownership and expand outreach with family planning and maternal and child health services. Emphasis is also being placed on youth-focused programs and cross-sector community based integration.
Participants are being challenged to:
· Explore and discuss community-based practices that have been tried in different countries and to identify what has worked and what has not;
· Strengthen and develop partnerships;
· Identify opportunities for additional learning through site visits to particular countries;
· Specify actions required to help countries develop, implement and monitor community level family planning programs.
Enabling couples to determine whether, when, and how often to have children is vital to safe motherhood and healthy families. Voluntary family planning has profound health, economic, and social benefits for families and communities:
- Protecting the health of women by reducing high-risk pregnancies
- Protecting the health of children by allowing sufficient time between pregnancies
- Fighting HIV/AIDS through providing information, counseling, and access to male and female condoms
- Reducing abortions
- Supporting women's rights and opportunities for education, employment, and full participation in society
- Protecting the environment by stabilizing population growth
The meeting is co-organized by the National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development, Ministry of Planning, Kenya and the Division of Reproductive Health, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Kenya, as the host organizations, with support from USAID/East Africa, USAID/Kenya and USAID/Washington.