Experts dealing with family health and social issues have pointed out thatthere is an urgent need for family planning services to be established in all provinces inthe country.
Failure to controlthese occurrences will impact plans to create a quality population.
Country Director for Marie StopePNG, Tom Ellum, pointed out duringthe Health and Population Sectorial meeting yesterday, that a quarter of pregnancies in PNG today are unwanted.
Out ofthe estimated two-thousand babies born each year, forty per cent ofthese babies were not planned for. And overthe last two decades, unwanted pregnancies have increasedthe population by a quarter.
“What we see is high unwanted pregnancy in teenagers, and that prevents our opportunity…we know what happens;they get pregnantodrop out of school, and marry someonethey might not have married ifthey hadtheir choice. This really impacts onthe quality population,” said Ellum.
Mr. Ellum stressed that more than six-hundred thousand women in PNG can’t access family planning services for many reasons.
Pregnancy can be prevented, andthe health sector is tasked with establishing family planning services within provincial health authorities acrossthe nation, so that more women and men can be educated on family planning methods.
There are currently ten family support centers established in various parts ofthe country, but not all are in operation.
Another issue that can be factored into establishing family planning services is family and sexual violence.
Unwanted pregnancies and HIV transmission have resulted from violence inthe home or community, andthese can be addressed with a family planning service in place.
Family planning services not only offer counseling,they havethe capacity to provide clinical, social and legal aid as well.
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