World Population Day

World Population Day

On Tuesday July 11th UNFPA celebrated World Population Day; a UN event that seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The theme for this year was “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.”

Family planning is the practice of controlling the number of children a family has and the intervals between their births; it's considering when you want to have children, how you want to have children, and how you want to space them out. It’s an act of agency and self-determination that helps families develop the tools necessary to plan their futures, and gives vulnerable groups like adolescent girls more options by providing life skills and access to contraception. Recently, however, the definition of family planning has expanded to include quality of health and quality of life of the mother and child.

The World Population Day celebration included a press conference attended by the Minister and Vice Minister, the UNFPA Rep. Frederika Meijer, UNFPA staff, students and the press. Here are some of the stats they shared:

•Family Planning significantly reduces the likelihood of maternal and child morbidity and mortality

•Access to Family Planning reduces adolescent pregnancies, allowing girls to fully develop physically, stay in school and achieve optimal levels of nutrition

•Increasing Family Planning investment in Lao PDR can have a high rate of return: spending $1 dollar on contraceptives can reduce the cost of pregnancy-related care by $7, and save millions of dollars in direct healthcare costs

Check out the video below to hear Lao people’s thoughts on family planning, featuring some of my colleagues, and for which I edited the English subtitles:


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