World Contraception Day ensures contraceptive choices for young people
Introduction:World Contraception Day is an annual event taking place on September 26 each year. Countries and regions around the world organise events to mark the day and to demonstrate their commitment to raising awareness of contraception and improving education regarding reproductive and sexual health.
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Story:World Contraception Day, as we prefer to call it, is a mission to spread the word and raise awareness about contraception and safe sex. Its aim is to help each new generation of adults make informed decisions until every pregnancy in the world is a planned one.
In developing countries, women continue to die because they lack access to contraception. Each pregnancy multiplies a woman’s chance of dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth. Maternal mortality rates are particularly high for young and poor women, who have the least access to contraceptive services.
World Contraception Day will be using an umbrella theme for this and future years: ‘Its your life; its your future; know your options’. This theme has been chosen as it is forward-looking, positive and empowering.
In Laos, young people make up 60 percent of its population. With their dynamism, imagination and creativity; young people can transform the social and economic fortune of the country.
The recent Lao Social Indicator Survey shows that for every 1,000 adolescent girls (age 15-19), there are at least 94 births annually, in some provinces as high as 110. This means many girls, will have to stop going to school, playing sports, dancing and enjoying time with friends to become mothers.
We all know the benefits of family planning and contraception: it helps prevent unintended pregnancies, which could have an adverse effect on the ability of any individual to enjoy a range of other rights.
A girl who becomes pregnant too early has not yet physically developed to carry a pregnancy to normal term, thus denying that baby the right to adequate development and a full healthy life; she and often her partner or husband, are in many cases forced to drop out of school and are deprived of their right to an education, as well as a right to becoming economically independent in the long run. This leaves them on a path to poverty.
An unintended or unplanned pregnancy can endanger a woman’s health, undermine her opportunities to earn a living and trap her and her entire family in a cycle of poverty and exclusion.
According to UN Population Fund, the evidence is now overwhelming that providing individuals with family planning services not only dramatically reduces infant and maternal deaths, but also improves the health of mothers and children.
Today, let us commit to ensure that every adult and young people everywhere, regardless of sex, social or marital status, income, ethnicity, religion or place of residence is empowered to exercise choice and decide freely and responsibly about his or her reproductive health choices.
Let us all commit to ensure that in Laos, every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on September 25, 2014