Cape Town gives thumbs-up to contraceptives - 'one of the greatest antipoverty innovations ever'

11 July 2017 - 11:20 By Nashira Davids
Injection. File photo.
Injection. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

Clinics run by the City of Cape Town facilitated more than 900,000 family planning and contraceptive appointments between April 2016 and March 2017.

The city made these revelations ahead of a major global summit co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‚ which has hailed contraceptives as one of the ''greatest antipoverty innovations the world has ever known".

Cape Town reported that the most popular contraception was the injection. But the number of intra-uterine devices used was ''far too low''.

"An IUD provides family planning protection for up to five years‚ dispensing with unnecessary visits to the clinic‚'' a statement read.

Mayoral committee member Anda Ntsodo said: "Family planning gives women control over their own lives and allows them to choose when they want to become pregnant. By empowering women in this way‚ we are strengthening the fabric of society and‚ in turn‚ our communities."

Melinda Gates‚ co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‚ spoke about the benefits of contraception ahead of the 2017 Family Planning Summit‚ which started in the UK on Tuesday.

The foundation is one of the co-hosts of the summit along with the UK government and the United Nations Population Fund.

She said family planning was one of the smartest investments countries can make.

The summit coincides with World Population Day‚ which has been observed on July 11 since 1989.

According to the UN‚ the summit is the second meeting of the Family Planning 2020 initiative‚ which ''aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020".

Gates said: "Access to contraceptives changes everything. Women are freer to work outside the home‚ earn an income‚ and contribute to the economy. Mothers and fathers can devote more resources to their kids' health and education - setting them up for a more productive future."

Dr Natalia Kanem‚ acting executive director of the UN Population Fund‚ highlighted that 214 million women in developing countries who want family planning lack access to modern contraception.

In a statement issued by summit organisers‚ participating governments and partners are ''expected to collectively announce at least $2‚5-billion in funding'' for family planning programmes.

- TimesLIVE