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UNPF, Afghan govt mark World Population Day

UNPF, Afghan govt mark World Population Day

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Jul 17, 2018 - 15:09

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) on Tuesday announced commemorating Worldinfo-icon Population Day (WPD) in collaboration with Afghan government institutions.

Ministries of Economy, Public Healthinfo-icon, Haj and Religious Affairs, Afghanistaninfo-icon National Statistics and Information Authority (ANSIA) and the Afghanistan Midwifery Association (AMA) collaborated with UNPF at the event held at the Media and Information Center in Kabul.

A statement from the UN agency said the commemoration took place under the global theme of “Family Planning is a Human Right”.

Representatives from the Ministry of Hajjinfo-icon attended the event and stated family planning was in line with the verses of the holy Quraninfo-icon and teachings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Family planning is an integral part of reproductive health services. The failure to provide reproductive health services, including family planning, to the poorest womeninfo-icon can weaken economies and sabotage progress towards the number one sustainable development goal – eliminating poverty.

UNFPA State of the World Population Report in 2017 warned unless inequality was urgently tackled and the poorest women were empowered to make their own decisions, countries could face unrest and threats to peace.

“Investments in family planning in Afghanistan are critical not only to reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, but also to reduce fertility and the dependency ratio,” said Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi, UNFPA representative.

The poorest Afghan women have the fewest options for family planning, the least access to antenatal care, and are most likely to give birth without the assistance of a doctor or midwife. These issues increase the risks of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.

According to the Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey, only 23 per cent of married women use a method of contraceptive, while there is evidence that 25% of married women have an unmet need for family planning.

Early and child marriage, high fertility rates with little birth spacing contribute to the high maternal mortality in Afghanistan, that is currently the highest in the region and is estimated at about 661 per 100,000 live births.

nh/mud

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