You are here

Vientiane Capital, 26 September 2022  World Contraception Day, this year, was marked by the Ministry of Health, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners by gathering at That Luang, the landmark of Vientiane Capital, for an early morning fun run, on 24 September 2022. Thousands of runners enthusiastically participated to emphasise the importance of women’s decision to become pregnant by choice, not by chance and thus reduce maternal deaths!

Dr Phayvanh Keopaseuth, Deputy Minister of Health, said, “the purpose of today's event is to show policymakers, young people, women and men the importance of contraception and return on investment of family planning.” 

“Let us all understand that family planning is not limited to having fewer children but also protecting women's and children's health. Births  must be at least two years apart. This will improve women and child health, save the family's expenses; women will have more time to earn a living, which consequently improves the economy. Contraception is also very helpful to those who are not ready to have or already have enough children.”

Ms Mariam Khan, UNFPA Representative to Lao PDR, said, “contraception or Family Planning is a shared responsibility for both women and men. A woman or girl’s ability to manage If, When and How many children to have can be the single most important factor in how her life will evolve. The more vulnerable a woman or girl is, for example, is less educated, poorer, has disabilities, does not speak the mainstream language,  the more critical her sexual reproductive health outcomes, especially unplanned pregnancy, will be to broader opportunities and outcomes in her life”.

Unplanned pregnancy is not always unwanted. While many unplanned pregnancies will be celebrated,  others will end in abortion or miscarriage, and unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal death globally. In many cases, unintended pregnancies happen because women cannot decide on their bodily autonomy. Access to modern contraception can save and transform women’s lives, their families, communities and societies.

Reaching full coverage targets for Family Planning and Nutrition, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health interventions in Lao PDR by 2030 is affordable and can generate six dollars in economic returns for every dollar invested (benefit-cost ratio = 6:1). 

Within RMNCAH and Nutrition, the greatest return on investment is in making rights-based family planning methods available in all provinces to reduce unintended pregnancies.  Averting unintended pregnancies reduces maternal deaths, reduces child deaths and unsafe abortions.  It can further decrease the cost requirements for other health interventions and lead to economic benefits from increased workforce participation, additional years of education for adolescent girls especially, and increased lifetime earnings for women. Family planning scale-up  also significantly improve nutrition and reduce  stunting .


UNFPA, the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency, works in over 150 countries, including Lao PDR, to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence.


For more information, please contact:

Siriphone Sakulku, 

Sexual Reproductive Health Programme Coordinator



Vannaseng Insal 

Communications and Partnership Analyst, UNFPA Lao PDR