London Summit on Family Planning to halve number of women without access to contraceptives


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The Independent Online

A groundbreaking summit hosted by the Department of International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will take place tomorrow in an effort to halve the number of women in developing countries without access to contraception.

Women in some of the world’s poorest countries risk death when falling pregnant and many of them hope to use contraceptives to lengthen the period between children.

Mwanasha, a mother-of-two from Malawi, owes her health to a UK aid support programme called Banja La Mtsogolo, which means Family of the future.

The programme is part of Marie Stopes International and sets up services in some of the poorest places on the planet and offer women contraceptives.

Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary said: “It is a shocking fact that pregnancy can be a death sentence for many girls and women in the developing world. What is all the more devastating is that many of these pregnancies were unintended.

“That is why the British Government and the Gates Foundation are hosting a summit in London next month which we hope will cut in half the number of girls and women who want contraception to delay or space their pregnancies but are unable to access it.”