Importance of family planning stressed

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr Jayasudara Bandara, addressing the media at the Health Education Bureau (HEB) in view of ‘The World Population Day,’ a said that family planning was an explosive issue but people should realise the true meaning of family planning.

Identifying the benefits of family planning Dr. Bandara said that parents needed to be able to sustain their children. They should be able to provide for them. The elder children should not have to suffer owing to subsequent births in the family. Their education and nutrition needs should not be compromised as a result, he said.

Dr Bandara said that large families also led to distancing between husbands and wives.

Too many child births posed a risk to a mother’s health, he said.

United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) Resident Representative, Ritsu Nacken, said family planning sanctioned the rights of women. Every woman had the right to be in control of her body. She said that family planning was also advisable in an economic sense as well.

Nacken, the new UNFPA Resident Representative for Sri Lanka said that family planning played an important role in achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030 depending on how well sexual and reproductive health, the rights of women and young people were looked after.

The Report of the National Family Planning Programme Review was handed over to the DGHS and the UNFPA Representative.

Family planning was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1953. Although The National Family Planning Programme (NFPP) has been successful in meeting the family planning needs of the Sri Lankans it has also been faced with issues such as providing quality and equitable access to services and information. Negative perceptions about family planning have also posed a challenge to the programme.

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