Press Release

UNFPA and Lao Government launched the short film on World Population Day 2017

11 July 2017

Vientiane, 11 July 2017 – As the world population is approaching  7.6 billion in 2017, this year July 11th marks 30 years of celebrating World Population Day since 1987. Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) together with Ministry of Health (MoH) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) celebrating this year under the theme “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations”.

Gathering at MPI’s main hall are participants from line ministries, development partners, UN agencies, local media and students from National University of Laos (NuOL). The  event takes place  to celebrate this year’s World Population Day focuses on Redefining Family Planning for people in Lao PDR. MPI, MoH and UNFPA produced a 2-minute film on “What does Family Planning mean to you?” with  people from  Vientiane Capital sharing their opinions and their understanding on what Family Planning means to them. The  film was screened at the event and shared via social media. In addition  the Government, UNFPA and partners launched the summary report of the First National Family Planning Conference in Lao PDR, which took place on 3 & 4 May 2017.

This  first-ever National Conference on Family Planning in Lao PDR focused on the benefits of Family Planning for Economic Prosperity. Another important outcome of the conference was to redefine Family Planning from population control to quality of live, understanding the individual and national benefits of a good family planning programme that focusses on choice and availability of family planning commodities.

Lao PDR is part of the global movement of FP2020, which has set the target to get modern contraceptives to 120 million women and girls by 2020. This year on World Population Day, there is a Summit in London which brings together top officials from more than 50 countries to discuss how to step up family planning efforts.

Lao PDR’ s efforts are part of this global FP2020 movement to strengthen the family planning programme and reduce unmet needs because, Unmet need for Family Planning in Lao PDR is still high  at 20% - and as much as 31% in some ethnic groups. The adolescent birth rate is 76 live births per 1,000 girls in the 15-19 age group, which is the highest among ASEAN Countries. Adolescent contraceptive use is very low at 22.3%. .

Dr. Kaisone Chounlamany, Deputy General Director of Hygiene and Health Promotion Department of MoH said at the event: “Family Planning provides choice to individuals and families, ensuring Governments’ work on saving mothers and babies’ lives towards Sustainable Development Goals”

Currently people’s view on Family Planning is about birth control without taking in to account the benefits for the individuals, families and the nation as a whole. Family Planning contributes to the quality of live and reduces maternal mortality when couples can choose when and how many children they would like to have.

“Greater access to family planning will reduce the number of adolescent pregnancies, allowing young women to maintain good physical health, remain in school to strengthen the foundation for their future as well as contribute to the economy of their families and the Nation ” said Dr. Khamlien Phonsena, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment.

The Global Health Series on Family Planning from the LANCET  shows that 44% of maternal mortality rate and 20% of infant mortality can be reduced when people have universal  access to Family Planning

“Everybody should have  access to Family Planning, particularly adolescent girls, because it is about saving lives and allowing women and girls to plan their lives and to fulfill their potential. UNFPA has been working closely with Lao Government in  providing supports to on the Family Planning programme, including providing contraceptives. Family Planning is integral part  of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and crucial for the achievement of the LDC graduation  said Ms. Frederika Meijer, UNFPA’s Representative in Lao PDR.

The launch of the 2 minute film today aims to make everyone feeling confident  to access reproductive and sexual health information and services. The film follows the line that “Family Planning is Empowering People and Developing Nations”.

 

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPn1TTSyJlM

 

 

 

More information, please contact:

Ms. Kay amphone Singhalath

Tel: 021 267 680

 

Email: Singhalath@unfpa.org