Press Release

Government emphasizes Family Planning for everyone, everywhere

11 July 2018

Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR50 years ago, the world proclaimed family planning a basic human right at the first International Conference on Human Rights on May 13th, Teheran, 1968. Today, numerous nations all over the world celebrate World Population Day on 11 July 2018 to commemorate this landmark agreement that allowed parents, couples and young people to exercise their rights to plan for their own families as well as their own futures.

Chaired by Vice Minister of Planning and Investment in Lao PDR H.E. Dr. Kikeo ChanthabouryTogether with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), this year in Lao PDR we celebrate World Population Day with the theme Family Planning for Everyone, because we want to simplify the understanding of family planning that it is not only for parents or couples, but for all people regardless of their sex, gender, backgrounds, social or economic status.”

 

According to the Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS II) launched in June this year, the use of modern method contraceptives for married women aged 15-49 increased slowly from 42 percent in 2011 to 49 percent in 2017. Unmet need for Modern Contraceptives (mCPR) among married women aged 15-49 has declined from 19.2 percent to 14.3 percent, among unmarried women (75%) aged 15-19 still cannot access to Family Planning.

 

 

 

 

All couples and individuals have the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so” He added.

 

This year, Government also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the National Population and Development Policy (NPDP) and decided that it would require a revision. UNFPA is providing support to revise the NPDP that will reflect the population projections and other developments. These are important activities to the run up of the 25th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) next year.

UNFPA has been supporting Family Planning in Lao PDR since 1995 following ICPD and good progress is made in providing Family Planning information and services for many people. Unfortunately, as we can see from the LSIS indicators, not EVERYONE is reached yet. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we should not leave anyone behind hence we need to strengthen our efforts.  Globally UNFPA has adopted a  new  Strategic Plan that aims to bring down unmet need and maternal death to ZERO, these transformative results steer our work everywhere including here in Lao PDR where we would like to see availability of Family Planning for everyone” said by Ms. Frederika Meijer, UNFPA Representative in Lao PDR.

 

 

Lao PDR has made significant progress in many areas that improve people’s wellbeing and addressing population related issues. Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) dropped to 2061 per 100,000 live births in 2015 from 3572 per 100,000 live births in 2011. Deliveries assisted by Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA) increased from 37.5 percent in 2011 to 65 percent in 2017.

Nonetheless, Adolescent Birth Rate among young women aged 15-19 only slightly declined from 942 per 1000 girls in 2011 to 833 per 1000 girls in 2017. We cannot overlook the importance of adolescent girl, as advocated for through Noi, because she will become a woman in the future and when a woman can plan her family, she can plan her life. She can pursue more education, seek for better jobs, and contribute more to her family, her community and her nation.” she added.

UNFPA among other agencies support the Government of Lao PDR to implement programmes to raise awareness and provide Family Planning information and services in particular to young people and adolescent girls like Noi. The aim is to bring down early marriages and early pregnancies so that everyone can full fill their potential. This will reduce school dropout and support the country in its economic growth efforts.  

The event today focuses on raising awareness as well as to showcase best practices of provinces in Lao PDR in terms of implementing health programme, including Family Planning. Many participants are government officials, provincial governors, civil society organizations, embassies, UN agencies and donor organizations.

 

 

 

  1. The Population and Housing Census 2015
  2. The Lao Social Indicator Survey 2011-2012
  3. The Lao Social Indicator Survey 2017-2018

 

 

For more information, please contact:

MPI: Mr. Morakot Vongxay                                                                  UNFPA: Kay Amphone Singhalath

E-mail: k_vongxay@hotmail.com                                                             E-mail: Singhalath@unfpa.org

Tel: 021 222214                                                                                    Tel: 020 7777 6597