THE United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has praised Zimbabwe for its commitment to providing contraceptives, saying the country has one of the highest modern contraceptive prevalence rates in Africa, at 68 percent, as of 2021.
In a statement to mark World Contraception Day on Tuesday, the UNFPA said Zimbabwe has become one of the first countries in the East and Southern African region to qualify for funding through the UNFPA Supplies Partnership.
However, the organisation added that more work was needed to ensure improved access for women in remote and vulnerable areas.
“This comes after procuring contraceptives worth US$1.5 million from domestic resources.
“This is a key achievement for the country’s efforts to support access to quality assured reproductive health and quality family planning commodities.
“There is still an unmet need among women and girls of reproductive age, the majority of them in rural, remote and hard-to-reach settings and often young and the most vulnerable, including persons with disabilities. Unmet need for family planning among married couples is 10 percent in urban areas and 11 percent in rural areas, while unmet need for young people is 12.6 percent nationally,” reads the statement.
UNFPA Country Representative, Miranda Tabifor, said:
“Our partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe in the provision of contraceptives goes back a very long way and we are extremely proud of the journey we have undertaken together.
“UNFPA extends its hearty congratulations to Zimbabwe for being one the few countries to be awarded additional financing for reproductive health and family planning commodities through the UNFPA Supplies Match Fund.
“Our continued partnership and efforts will ensure that we achieve the unmet need for family planning agenda.”
ZNFPC Acting Executive Director, Ben Chikati, said.
“Family Planning saves lives and is a cost-effective accelerator of improved health outcomes.
“In Zimbabwe, modelling undertaken by MOHCC and ZNFPC, confirms the benefits of family planning locally. For every additional US$1 invested in family planning, there is an additional US$2 to US$4 savings in health costs.”