Ethiopia to Host 3rd Annual Family Planning Conference

Thousands of scientists, advocates, political leaders, and health care experts from around the globe will convene in Addis Ababa from 12-15 November for the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP).

The conference will center on the premise “Full Access, Full Choice.” The ICFP comprises several interactive sessions and panel presentations. The global conference will also highlight the extensive benefits of aiding couples plan their families.

An estimated 4,000 participants are expected to attend this annual event. According to the organizers, Ethiopia was selected to host this year’s conference due to its strong dedication to family planning and its access to contemporary contraceptive methods.

This conference takes place a year after a landmark summit held in London. Ethiopia and other nations pledged to the international community and their citizens to take meaningful action to expand access to family planning during the London Summit. Consequently, Ethiopia is more committed than ever to meet these goals.

As Ethiopia prepares to host the ICFP, its focus in tackling unmet needs revolves around various challenges. One challenge the country faces is the shortage of contraceptives. In response to this challenge, the country is reinforcing delivery systems to ensure the availability of contraceptives.

During this event, participants will share the current data, program, and research findings to help attain the Summit’s objective. A Ministerial Meeting will precede the event, which is mutually organized by Ethiopia’s Health Ministry and the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population on 12 November.

The ICFP provides a platform to recognize countries that have adopted new or expanded family planning commitments, while simultaneously realizing the benefits. Ethiopia is one of the countries to have witnessed the effects of giving women the necessary resources to plan their pregnancies. They have realized that doing so improves their lives as well as the well-being and health of their families and communities.

This conference therefore, offers a platform to share Ethiopia’s successes with the global community and learn from other countries’ experiences. Furthermore, it is an opportunity for Ethiopia to embrace the chance to transform the lives of countless men and women by guaranteeing universal access to family planning.

Since the first conference occurred in 2009, the issue of family planning has since gained momentum. Last year, the Family Planning Summit took place on July 11th in London, about 69 countries made family planning commitments.  Since then, numerous countries have organized symposiums to formulate strategies to accomplish commitments made at the London Summit.

This year’s meeting will offer a platform to underscore successes that have occurred in family planning around the globe, along with the hurdles that various countries must address. Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, Ethiopia’s Health Minister, recognizes that the challenges they face are not easy but believes that a solution exists.

Dr. Admasu further adds that in order to succeed, they must be bold and not shy away since this is a cause worth fighting for. The unveiling of a new resource is to occur at the conference. Programming Strategies for Postpartum Family Planning is a combined effort by the USAID, WHO, Ethiopia’s Health Ministry, and U.N. Population Fund.

The new resource is aimed at offering efficient programs for postpartum family planning at the national and local levels. As Ethiopia prepares to host this crucial meeting, family planning remains an issue that countries must address globally.

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