Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
THE Zimbabwe National Family Planning Strategy has been launched, with the policy document set to guide the nation in the provision of integrated quality reproductive health services.
Built around addressing high adolescent pregnancy cases, among other issues, the National Family Planning Strategy has adopted guiding principles for the national health strategy which include equity, quality, efficiency, confidentiality and professionalism.
Speaking at the official launch of the strategy in Harare this Friday, Vice President General (Rtd) Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care minister, said the government remains committed to ensuring universal access to quality integrated contraceptive services.
“Government remains committed to ensuring universal access to quality integrated contraceptive services for all based on the principles of human rights and gender equality.
“In that endeavour, we aim to reduce unwanted pregnancies, including teenage pregnancies and avoidable maternal and neonatal deaths. This will contribute to the well-being and development of adolescents and youths, translating into national productivity and progress. Today, we reiterate our full commitment to the family planning and contraceptive service programme.
“While sustaining and consolidating the gains we have made, we are therefore committing to do more for the country. The Ministry is aware of the role family planning and contraceptive services play in nation-building by way of enhancing health and social well-being, saving health costs and increasing productivity. Thus, health and well-being are the key pillars of National Development Strategy 1, which is a gateway to an empowered upper-middle-income society by 2030,” said Dr Chiwenga.
The family planning strategy is also expected to be used as a compass for the family planning needs of the country.
“The family planning strategy provides interventions to curb among other reproductive health issues, maternal and child mortality, early child and forced child marriages and gender-based violence.
“It also emphasizes the importance of information, education and communication in the provision of family planning services to the nation, paying particular attention to the importance of schools, parents, and religious, political and traditional leadership in the process,” said Dr Stanzia Moyo, ZNFPC board chairperson.
“We applaud Zimbabwe’s efforts in making contraceptives accessible to women and girls even during the COVID-19 pandemic we have indeed not left any woman behind,” said Dr Samukeliso Dube, FP Global’s partnership executive director.
“We would like to commend the government on its investment in family planning. We commend the strong leadership commitment being shown by the government as UNFP we remain committed to supporting the government,” said Dr Gulnara Kadyrkulova, UNFPA’s country representative.
Zimbabwe’s sound policy frameworks on population have seen the country being given the honour to host the International Conference on Population and Development in June next year.