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For people across Nepal, access to contraception and family planning services can mean the difference between life and death. Yet in this largely patriarchal culture, where having four or five children has long been the norm, contraception remains an alien idea to many, and access to it is strictly controlled by male heads of households.
The past 15 years have been turbulent for this small, landlocked country. Poverty is widespread and the earthquake of 2015 had a devastating effect. Almost 9,000 people were killed and over 22,000 injured, while the effect on houses and buildings was catastrophic: around 800,000 homes were destroyed or damaged, and 3 million people were displaced.
Meeting the family planning needs of Nepal’s 28 million people, particularly those living in remote mountain villages, takes careful planning, complex logistics, skilled staff and money. Since 1959, the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN), has been providing better access to contraception and maternal health, ensuring its services penetrate even the most remote corners of this rugged mountain country.
Expanding contraceptive choices offers the potential to put power into women’s hands said the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in reaction to the Sayana Press announcement by Pfizer BD, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and CIFF today.
IPPF is already playing a major role in the introduction of Sayana Press to increase access to the world’s most poorest and underserved women and girls.