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Over 160 million women worldwide have unmet contraceptive needs: Study

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In 2019, the availability of contraceptives still varied between regions of different countries.

New Delhi:

According to a study published in The Lancet journal, despite a large increase in use globally since 1970, more than 160 million women and teens who needed to prevent pregnancy remained without contraception in 2019.

Expanding access to contraception is linked to women’s social and economic empowerment and improved health outcomes and is a key goal of international initiatives, and a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator, the researchers said.

The use of contraceptives is also associated with a reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality by preventing unwanted pregnancies, he said.

Based on data from 1,162 self-reported representative surveys on women’s contraceptive use, the researchers used modeling to generate national estimates of various family planning indicators.

Women were defined as needing contraception when they were married or if they were unmarried, sexually active, able to become pregnant and did not want a child within two years, or if they were pregnant or had just given birth, But she preferred to delay or prevent her pregnancy.

The researchers noted that worldwide, the share of women of reproductive age using modern contraception increased from 28 percent in 1970 to 48 percent in 2019. Demand increased from 55 percent in 1970 to 79 percent in 2019.

He said that despite the large increase, 163 million (over 16 crore) women who were not currently using contraception were needed in 2019, out of 1.2 billion (over 100 crore) women who needed contraception in total. There was a need, he said.

“While we have seen excellent progress in contraceptive availability since the 1970s globally, there is still a long way to go to ensure that every woman and adolescent girl can benefit from the economic and social empowerment of contraceptives,” Annie Hakkenstadt said. , from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, US.

“Our results show that where in the world a woman lives and their age still significantly affects contraceptive use,” Hakkenstadt said.

In 2019, the availability of contraceptives still varied significantly between regions and different countries.

Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania had the highest use of modern contraceptives (65 percent) and demand satisfied (90 percent), while sub-Saharan Africa had the lowest use of modern contraceptives (24 percent) and demand satisfied ( 52 percent). Percent).

Between countries, the level of modern contraceptive use ranged from 2 percent in South Sudan to 88 percent in Norway. In 2019, the most needs were not met in South Sudan (35 percent), the Central African Republic (29 percent) and Vanuatu (28 percent).

“The high unmet need among participating adolescent women represents a risk for unintended pregnancies, affecting subsequent socioeconomic empowerment of these groups,” said Manas Ranjan Pradhan, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai.

Ranjan, who was not involved in the study, said, “The socio-demographic index affects the MCPR (Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate) and demand satisfaction among adolescents, perhaps with huge disparities based on socioeconomic status and access to health care services. because of.”

The Family Planning 2020 Initiative (FP2020) aims to increase the number of women using modern contraception to 120 million between 2012 and 2020 in 69 priority countries, researchers said.

The study estimated that the number of women using contraception in these countries increased by 6.9 million (69 million) between 2012 and 2019, making the initiative 51 million (5.1 million) less than reaching its target. If these levels remain unchanged in 2020, he said. ,

The study found that, compared to other groups, women and adolescents in the 15-19 and 20-24 age groups have the lowest rates of demand globally – estimated at 65 percent and 72 percent, respectively.

According to the researchers, people aged 15-24 comprise 16 percent of total need, but 27 percent have unmet needs – 43 million (43 million) young women and adolescents worldwide do not have access to contraceptives. They are needed in 2019.

He said the biggest gap globally is among young, married women.

“Importantly, our study draws attention to the younger women who are over-represented among those who cannot use contraception when they need it,” Hakenstadt said.

“These are the women who stand most to benefit from contraceptive use, because delays in having children help women stay in school or obtain other training opportunities and enter and maintain paid employment.” can be found.

“This can have social and economic benefits that last a woman’s life and is an essential driver towards greater gender equality,” the researcher said.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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