• Sexual and Reproductive Health - Mobile Services
  • CASD - Training selfless nurses to take Healthcare to hard-to-reach communities.
  • CASD - Protecting orphans and vulnerable children
  • CASD - Participating in international advocacy and consultations.
  • CASD - Networking
  • CASD - Political advocacy community awareness campaigns.
  • Improving health and socio-economic conditions of vulnerable women, children and adolescents in ways that are inclusive, accountable and sustainable
  • CASD - Rehabilitating adolescent mothers and protecting vulnerable children.

CASD's at ICFP 2016, Indonesia

CASD at the International Conference on Family Planning in

Indonesia where participants from around the world including policy makers technical experts, researchers, advocates and youth adolescent groups  gathered. Represented by the Executive Director Numfor A. Munteh herebt reflects:

I was excited to be one of the over 3000 participants at the ICFP 2016, representing the 1.8 billion young people around the world, and the 50% of women of child bearing age in Cameroon with unmet family planning needs.

The conference was an ideal platform for worldwide engagement on issues of family planning (FP) and as a civil society representative I saw this as my golden opportunity to make sure leaders walk the talk.

At the opening plenary, we joined Honourable Awa Marie Coll Seck, Minister of Health and Social Action of Senegal to celebrate the tremendous progress her country has made on family planning. Senegal is actually the family planning role model in West Africa, in 2012, Senegal committed to doubling its budget for contraceptives, setting a target of 27% contraceptive usage by 2015. The latest statistics show’s an increase of 4%, from 12% usage to 16%. This progress is thanks in part to the “2012 Reviewed National Action Plan for FP” that integrates young people as a vital driver. Being a member of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) Youth constituency, I was very happy about the Senegal story, and imagine how this progress can be emulated by all nations to facilitate global drops in adolescent unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths.

While preparing my talking points for some of the side events I will attend, I came across some really distressing statistics. Most of us can probably rattle off these numbers without a second thought, but I want to remind myself again. Every year, 1.3 million adolescents die of preventable causes, 120 million girls under 20 years are victims of sexual violence and 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. Around the world, 2.1 million adolescents live with HIV and 64% of new HIV infections occur in girls 15-19. Put into perspective, what a depressing place to grow up. It is no wonder that the two leading causes of death within this age group are suicide and complications during pregnancy and childbirth. What these numbers are telling us is that if this future generation of leaders are to survive and thrive then access to modern family planning methods is essential.

However, young people have limited representation in shaping policies and interventions to address these barriers.

In October last year something quite monumental happened. A little wind of change ushered in PMNCH’s 8th constituency—Adolescents and Youth. CASD and other development organizations fougth hard to establish this new constituency as a platform for  meaningful participation of young people in the health and wellbeing agenda including the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescent’s Health and the Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure their views are represented in global, regional and national policies and interventions. The new Adolescent and Youth constituency is made up of youth-led organisations and networks that have been leading on or implementing SRMNCAH work at national, regional or global levels for at least two years.

At the ICFP 2016,  I will represent The Partnership’s Adolescent and Youth constituency at the MSD Africa Auxiliary event on Innovative Strategies to Address High Unmet Contraceptive Need among Youth and Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. My participation in this panel was an example of the advantages a platform such as PMNCH gives in encouraging collaboration between the Adolescent and Youth and Private Sector constituencies to examine solutions to address a specific family planning challenge.

Since the launch of the Global Strategy at the United Nations General Assembly in September, we have heard a lot of rhetoric around the importance of the Survive, Thrive and Transform agenda in fulfilling the global goals in 2030. Family planning has a specific role to play in achieving these goals if young people are to fulfil their potential to the highest attainable levels of health and well-being.

 

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