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51% of Yemeni Women don't use means of family planning in society of high fertility rate

51% of Yemeni Women don't use means of family planning in society of high fertility rate

[13/February/2009]



By: Fatima Mutahar

Translated and edited by: Tawfiq Alnadhif

SANA'A, Feb. 13 (Saba)- The population issue becomes a global issue and a lot of countries, research centers and international organizations made many studies on the population approaches. These studies came out with indexes and indications that warn of the current situation of population affaires almost all over the world.

Most of the developing countries are badly affected by the population growth that causes a lot of problems like poverty, unemployment and the physical and psychological disability, specially among youth that threaten the internal security and safety of these countries. At the same time, other countries are suffering from low population growth, which makes these countries in few years later moving to higher growth of old age people and a declining the rate of youth.

Yemen belongs to the first group due to the higher population growth which is not commensurate with the economic resources and the capabilities of the government to plan and implement development projects that address needs of citizens.

The fertility rate in Yemen records 2.6 child/woman, in the Sudan, for example it scores 8.4 child/woman and in Egypt, 2.3 child/woman.

To solve this global crisis, international calls and projects on reproductive health and family planning are raised, but these projects faced many obstacles in the begging and a lot of arguments erupted, not only in Yemen and the Islamic countries but also in the world.

Reproductive health issues are still controversial in countries such as China, India and Africa as it is in America or Britain.

On the local level, the Family Welfare Society- a non-governmental organizations – is one of the leading organizations in reproductive health and family planning work.
Since 1978, the society is still use the concept "family care" which is similar to the concept "family planning and reproductive health" in order not to arouse public opinion against it and to provide more services, which later paved the way for other issues in reproductive health.

To address the population problem, the government launched projects and intensive media campaigns continuously to define of the concepts of reproductive health, family planning and the importance of positive effects on the health of the mother and the family, and several international and local organizations also backed up the governmental efforts.

Alolofi Center for Childhood and Motherhood is one of the governmental centers that provide services and means of family planning. Jamila Alanssi the family planning official of Alolofi Center said that her center recorded remarkable increase in the use of family planning methods specially among women who come from rural areas around Sana'a city.

She noticed that rural area's couples are interested to bring their wives to the center periodically for examination and using the appropriate means.

She added that the women who come for family planning purpose ask them some questions about the negative impacts of the use of family planning methods eg, psychological and mental diseases, bleeding, infertility and cancer.

Pointing out that there is already some women suffering from nerve when use contraceptive pills or bleeding in the use of the loop, but these symptoms as long as they occur for a short time and low rates are acceptable because they are resulted from the interaction of these means with the body. She said that if the situation has developed, they are changing the way in order to suit the women, indicating that they do all required tests before determining the appropriate means.

Studies and Figures

Number of government and non-governmental organizations reveals an improvement in the demand for family planning methods among Yemen families who actually using family planning methods, whether traditional or modern ones. According to a multi-indicator cluster survey 2006, 7.27% of married women are using the family planning methods.

The survey showed that the number of women in cities is higher than rural rates by 42.3% and 21.1%, respectively, the age of play a great role in that as the group of 35-39 years were more popular by 35% to 10.4 % for the age group 15 - 19 years. The economic situation index showed that 43.7% of women belong to rich families compared to 17.7% of women from the poorest groups.

The media played an important role in raising awareness and the demand for family planning. A study made by the Ministry of Health and Central Statistics Organization on "women using family planning methods" showed that 62.9% of women who use family planning means got awareness by media, at least one mass of media either a visible or audible or readable media, compared to 34.7% not using any method of family planning and this group had not been subjected to any mass of media.

UN warnings

United Nations Population Fund supports reproductive health activities in Yemen such as family planning methods. Its reports confirm that reaching to reproductive health services and family planning is still very limited, where the rate of women who are lacking for family planning methods is 51% of married women who wish to use a family planning method but they can't not get it.

It warns of the current population growth in Yemen, and it made an estimation of the future population in Yemen which indicates that the number of inhabitants of the Republic of Yemen will reach 61 millions by the year 2033 if fertility rate still in an increase, while in the case of the reduced fertility rate, population number will reach 43 millions.

To know the reasons for failure to meet the need of women to family planning methods, Dr. Wafa Shaiban from population sector at the Ministry of Public Health said that the failure is not laying behind the absence of family planning means and making them available to those women - even if is considered the main reason- but there are other reasons, including the refusal of the husbands, and the inability of some people to get the service because of they live far from the health facilities, and also the lack of awareness of how to use the means of family planning.

Shaiban could not give us a number about the use of family planning service, which confirmed that it had remarkably improved. She indicated that the population sector in the ministry prepared an assessment and a follow-up form for this purpose and the form has been adopted since the beginning of this year. She added that early next year the vision will be more clear and supported by figures and we can evaluated the level of progress, the needs and the deficiency and its reason.

Among these contradictions, we find that the means of family planning and reproductive health services in general in Yemen get a government support and international endorsement, but actually they go in slow and need both an official and popular efforts.

Saba

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