180001 Family planning and the global development agenda

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:30 AM

Jason B. Smith, PhD, MPH , Technical Support and Research Utilization Department, Family Health International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Modern family planning was a mainstay of efforts to improve global public health for most of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Family planning is one of the few means of primary prevention for maternal mortality and maternal morbidity. To a large degree, family planning has the potential to obviate the need for most elective abortions. Smaller families and birth-spacing have been demonstrated to improve the health of infants, children and women. Statistical modeling shows that family planning has a large, and largely untapped potential to prevent vertical transmission of HIV. In addition to the tangible and technical public health benefits, family planning also helps address the underlying causes of poverty and disease in the developing world. In particular, safe, effective and affordable family planning gives women and families a way to control their own fertility, and thus their own destinies. Despite these many contributions, support for international family planning programs has begun to erode in recent years for a variety of reasons. The purpose of this presentation is to review the public health evidence showing how family planning contributes to many of the goals of the global development agenda, as typified by the Millennium Development Goals, and to provide context for the other speakers on this panel, who will provide insights on why support for international family planning has been on the decline and what might be done in the future to ensure that family planning continues to make significant contributions to global health.

Learning Objectives:
As a result of attending this presentation, participants will be able to: 1. List five ways family planning contributes to global health goals 2. Describe the magnitude of family planning's contributions to global health 3. Articulate at least three reasons why support for family planning programs has begun to erode in recent years and 4. Better evaluate the information being subsequently presented by other speakers in this pre-formed panel.

Keywords: International Family Planning, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a recognized expert in this content area and I have no conflicts of interest regarding any products or services that may be discussed in this presentation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.