By Sharon Atieno

Despite obstacles including the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more women are using modern contraceptives especially, in low –and lower-middle-income countries.

This is according to a new report by FP2030 dubbed the 2022 Measurement Report launched at the International Conference on Family Planning in Thailand.

The report finds that almost four in ten women in low-and lower-middle-income countries (about 371 million) are now using modern methods of family planning. This is an increase of 87 million, a decade ago.

Though the rise is reported in all regions, Sub-Saharan Africa particularly has registered the highest growth from a prevalence of 16.8% in 2012 to 23% in 2022.

In the last year alone, women’s use of contraception in low- and lower-middle-income countries has averted more than 141 million unintended pregnancies, 29 million unsafe abortions, and almost 150,000 maternal deaths, according to the report.

“The benefits of family planning are enormous, and have a multiplier effect,” Dr. Samukeliso Dube, executive director of FP2030, said.

“Family planning is the key to reducing maternal deaths; it is the difference between finishing high school and entering into early marriage and parenthood, and it can unlock a woman’s economic survival and prosperity.”

Additionally, the report finds that implants are the most commonly used contraceptive method in 10 countries and the second most common method in another 14 countries.

However, about 50 million women across low and lower-middle-income countries are still using a traditional method to avoid pregnancy.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) pledged that by the end of 2030, every person of reproductive age living in the DRC will have access to affordable, quality family planning information and services, regardless of social class, geographical location, political or religious affiliation.

They also committed to increase access to family planning information and services for all adolescents and young people, using rights-based approaches, from 13.1% in 2018 to at least 18% in 2025.