Family Planning And Increased Maternal Mortality

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the UK government and the UN Population Fund are sponsoring a family planning summit to address how to close the gap with the more than 200 million women, largely in the less developed countries who want to use family planning methods but have no access to them. The reasons are multiple, cultural barriers, family constraints, lack of money, lack of availability, lack of trained personnel. But the results seem to be that not being able to control the number and spacing of their children appears to lead to increased maternal mortality as well as a host of problems related to poor or non-existent maternal health. For every mother who dies research shows that 20 more suffer from chronic ill health and disability. In addition, the life chances of these women also affect the lives of their children as well as the strength and health of their communities. Family planning is a strong tool to help combat these problems. It is the basis of solving many ills and is not expensive particularly for the returns it provides in terms of aid and development. Bill and Melinda Gates seem to already know that when something can save lives and decrease suffering as easily as family planning, it deserves to be more widely used. Let’s hope those who’ve been objecting will benefit from their point of view.