Raising awareness of family planning among health personnel and medical students – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms Bisma Naveed, a 4th year medical student from Pakistan. It is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this article belong strictly to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IFMSA on the subject, nor that of The European Sting.

Promoting family planning in countries with high birth rates has the potential to reduce poverty and hunger and avert 32% of all maternal deaths and almost 10% of child deaths. It would also contribute to the empowerment of women, the achievement of universal primary education and long-term environmental sustainability. Over the past 40 years, family planning programs have played a major role in increasing the prevalence of contraceptive use from less than 10% to 60% and in reducing fertility in developing countries by six at about three births per woman, but the unmet need for family planning is high.

Health personnel can encourage the concept of family planning among the public by giving them information such as the health benefits of birth spacing and family planning:

  • Delaying having children can give people the chance to finish school or continue their education
  • Waiting to get pregnant at least 24 months after birth can have health benefits for both mother and baby.
  • Allow the mother to recover physically and emotionally before she becomes pregnant again and faces the demands of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.
  • Limiting the number of children means more resources for each child and more time for parents to spend with each child.
  • Help couples in a sexual relationship not to worry about the woman getting pregnant.
  • Prevent STIs such as HIV/AIDS.
  • Prevention of unwanted pregnancies for women over 35 who are often at risk to their health and can lead to complications for mothers and infants.
  • Young women may delay pregnancy until their bodies are mature and ready for life.

They can help a woman choose a method that is right for her by

  • Assess the situation, its needs and information gaps
  • Help prioritize solutions, narrow down options and make a good choice
  • Check if she is eligible to use the chosen method
  • Provide useful information about the method.

They can tell them birth control methods like

  • IUD
  • Female sterilization
  • Combined pill
  • Implants
  • Diaphragm
  • Methods based on knowledge of fertility, etc.

CSE is a key way to improve young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and their ability to make safe and informed decisions. According to a 2013 systematic review of comprehensive adolescent health programs, “the scarcity of sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services, as well as family planning interventions, represents the greatest missed opportunity and programmatic gap. and most blatant policy for adolescent girls”.

Globally, more than three million adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19 undergo unsafe abortions each year, and approximately one-third of all annual abortion-related deaths are among women under 25.

Medical students can play a vital role in this by telling them about the risk factors and complications of abortions and also instructing them to wait at least six months before another pregnancy, if they have recently had an induced abortion. or spontaneous, in order to reduce the risks to their health and to their future babies.


Author: Prof. John Cleland MA

About the Author

Mrs. Bisma Naveed is a member of IFMSA and a 4th year medical student from Pakistan.

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