An international initiative was announced on Wednesday 26 September in New York to expand access to long-lasting and reliable birth control to 27 million women in developing countries.
”The initiative improves access to contraceptives and therefore provides options for women and girls. Safe contraceptive methods reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, and empower women to decide on their own body,” Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala says.
The initiative employs a Finnish innovation, a contraceptive implant Jadelle, which is inserted underneath the skin of the upper arm. The funding partners of the initiative include Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Governments of UK, Sweden and the United States, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Bayer group.
Too early and unwanted pregnancies are a key reason for maternal and infant mortality. Young people, especially, should have better access to family planning services and information. Even though provision of reproductive health services has grown nearly all over the world in the past decades with greater focus on quality, the poorest are often excluded. Furthermore, things are not improving fast enough. Every day over 800 girls and women die as a result.
”Health services for women and girls are very much about human rights and equality; issues that Finland has persistently driven in the UN and the EU, for example,” Minister Hautala says.
”This type of long-lasting and inconspicuous contraceptive method is indeed ideal in many developing countries, where access to health services is bad and the status of women is often poor,” Hautala says. ”The initiative itself is a good example of how businesses can contribute to global development efforts.”
The initiative is well in support of UN Secretary-General's Every Woman Every Child strategy and the YK Millennium Goals. Access to contraceptives was among the topics in the London Summit on Family Planning in July, where Finland was one of active participants. In the Summit, donors made financial commitments to support family planning and sexual and reproductive health amounting to 4.6 billion dollars.
Finland funds sexual and reproductive health issues mainly through the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, and international and Finnish NGOs.
Further information: Press Attaché to Minister Hautala Milma Kettunen, tel. +358 40 522 9869, firstname.lastname@example.org, Adviser Gisela Blumenthal, tel. +358 9 1605 6437, email@example.com