Stamford, Conn. – July 21, 2017 – Americares has made a commitment to create or expand access to family planning commodities and integrate health education into maternal and child health programs in up to five countries.
The health-focused relief and development organization will begin by adding a family planning/reproductive health component to existing health programs in countries where Americares has a strong presence and relationships with local governments, NGOs and community leaders. India, Liberia, Nepal, the Philippines and Tanzania are among the countries targeted for the expansion, in part due to high maternal mortality rates and low contraceptive usage.
Americares announced the commitment at last week’s Family Planning Summit in London, co-hosted by the UN Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund and the UK government in partnership with the Family Planning 2020 Secretariat. More than 60 commitments were made in all, with a goal to increase access to family planning for women in the 69 lowest-income countries. Americares was one of six non-governmental organizations at the summit making a commitment for the first time.
“We are proud to expand our programming and give more women in the developing world access to contraceptives and health education,” said Americares Senior Vice President of Global Programs Dr. E. Anne Peterson. “Family planning is one of the most cost-effective interventions we have to reduce death and disease for mothers, infants and children. The data is very clear—increasing spacing between births improves survival rates and reduces malnutrition in children.”
With nearly 40 years of experience delivering medicine and medical supplies and a network of 4,000 partner health centers worldwide, Americares is uniquely positioned to improve access to quality family planning services and give women the opportunity to voluntarily adopt their preferred method of contraception. The commitment contributes to the Family Planning 2020 movement’s goal to enable 120 million additional women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.
Americares will supply oral contraceptives, condoms and contraceptive devices as requested by partner health care organizations in each country. Commodity distribution will complement health services and referrals, and outreach and education, as well as training to build the capacity of health workers.
Last year, Americares, delivered contraceptives to 30 countries. All of the products were donated by pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.