World Population Day 2018 - NFPB urges women to take advantage of contraceptives
Jamaica women are being encouraged to make use of contraceptives that are available to the public as they plan their families and empower themselves.
The National Family Planning Board made the appeal as it observes today's commemoration of World Population Day under the theme ‘Family Planning is a Human Right’.
The agency's executive director Lovette Byfield said the government has made a variety of contraceptive methods available to Jamaican women at an affordable cost but said that these means are underutilised.
“Having a child is usually a happy time, but unfortunately, too many children in Jamaica are born into families that did not plan for them. We have been working assiduously over the years to provide family planning services to women of reproductive age from all walks of life, yet still, many of our women are not taking advantage due to issues such as low negotiation skills, unwillingness of the partner and low contraceptive knowledge plagued by various myths,” said Byfield in a statement.
“Women no longer have to depend on men to wear condoms to prevent unplanned pregnancies, they now have a choice between the pill, the Depo Provera injection, the implant, the intra-uterine device, vaginal rings and even sterilisation, otherwise known as tying off,” Byfield added.
According to the Reproductive Health Survey conducted in 2008, just under 50% of the live births in Jamaica were unintended.
“There are still too many women around the world who are not able to access family planning services or decide whether to have children or not. Jamaica is fortunate enough to not have this issue,” the agency head said.
Continuing,“All women, over the age of consent, can access family planning services in Jamaica. Jamaican women have the right to decide if they have children, how many they have and when they will have children. If in a union, both parties can make the decision together. No woman should be forced to have children, and in that case, there are ways to prevent it,”.
World Population Day is commemorated every year on July 11.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, where family planning was first declared global a human right.
The conference’s outcome document, the Teheran Proclamation, stated that “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children”.