By Joyce Ojanji

The use of modern contraception is soaring in the world with an estimated 371 million women of reproductive age in low and lower-middle-income countries now using a modern method of family planning.

This is according to the FP2030’s 2022 measurement Report, which was reviewed in November 2022 at the International Conference on family planning.

The report shows that more women in low and lower–middle–income countries are using modern family planning methods than ever before.

The report also suggests that despite the unprecedented strain COVID-19 placed on national health systems and global supply chains, and throughout restrictive lockdowns, record numbers of people worldwide continued to seek out and use family planning products and services.

Executive Director of FP2030 Dr. Samukeliso Dube said that what the latest report shows is just how unstoppable the demand for modern contraception is; women want to control whether and when to have children, and how many children to have.

‘’The benefits of family planning are enormous and have a multiplier effect. Family planning is key to reducing maternal deaths, and it can unlock a woman’s economic survival and prosperity,” he added.

However, the new FP2030 report found out that contraceptive use among married and unmarried sexually active women aged 15-24 is generally higher in east and southern Africa than in west Africa, although the unmet need is still high in both regions.

In addition, FP2030 Senior Director of Data and Management, Jason Bremner explained that the report shows us that despite progress in recent years, there is still much work to be done to meet the needs of women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa.

‘’If this rising demand is not met by high-quality services, consistent contraceptive supplies, and supportive policies and financing, it will be a missed opportunity for millions of women,’’ he added.

Less than two years after the FP2030 global partnership was launched, 24 governments and 78 non-governmental actors including civil society organizations, private sector providers and youth-led organizations have made a public financial pledge to advance rights-based family planning, vowing to expand access to voluntary, rights-based contraception.

Nineteen countries in sub-Saharan Africa have also finalized their FP2030 commitments, which share many common priorities, including improving service delivery for young people, increasing domestic financing, scaling up postpartum family planning and strengthening supply chains.

At the same time, the report shows that donor government funding for family planning is not keeping up with the growing demand for modern contraception. While bilateral donor funding totaled approximately US$1.4 billion in 2021, this was essentially flat compared to 2020 and substantially lower than the peak achieved in 2019 (US$1.52 billion).

Dr. Dube said that failing to adequately fund family planning efforts would be a missed opportunity for millions of women and therefore securing funding to accommodate the surge in demand for planning is very crucial.