More Nepalese women using contraceptives than men
9th September 2007
The use of contraceptives has increased to 70 per cent from 26 per cent to 44 per cent in a decade from 1996 to 2006 and more women have been found to be using them than men. Fifty percent of those using contraception are women.
There are eight kinds of modern family planning methods; female and male sterilisation, pills, IUD, injectables, implants, male condoms and emergency contraception and two traditional methods, the rhythm method and withdrawal, said Dr. Giridhari Sharma Poudel of the Family Planning Association Nepal (FPAN).
According to the Department of Health Services, in 2006 nearly one married women in every two (49 per cent) have been using one method of family planning and 44 per cent using a modern contraceptive method.
Byanti Lama, 32, and her husband are daily wagers in Kathmandu. They already have three sons. She used to inject three-month dipo but after she started becoming fat she stopped the method and she conceived. Then her husband, who used to come home almost drunk, suspected her of infidelity and even accused that the baby was not his.
When she was wondering what to do she met a woman who informed her about the legal process of abortion. The woman took her to the FPAN Valley branch for safe abortion and terminated the pregnancy.
Section manager at the Family Planning Association, Nepal, Valley Branch Office, Sarad Aryal, said information and awareness matters when it comes to use of safe abortion services. Records at the Kathmandu Valley Branch of FPAN showed that 65 per cent of women who come for safe abortion were in dipo. Dipo Provera is popular among women mainly because it is cheap and easy to adopt.
Director General at FPAN K.P. Bista said 98 per cent of the people were aware about family planning methods, but many of them do not use them. He said there were eight components in sexual and reproductive health including safe maternity, safe abortion, anti-natal care, HIV/AIDS and family planning.
The Five A´s
Bista said FPAN had been focusing on five 'As'; Advocacy, Access of Services, Adolescent and Youths, Abortion and AIDS and HIV. However, due to gap in the right information, maternal mortality among young women have been increasing, he said. More than 50 percent cases of maternal mortality are related to young women, he added.
The Strategy Plan of FPAN 2005 to 2009 aims to increase access to gender sensitive Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) services and education by lobbying and advocating for universal rights of women to live healthy and safe lives thereby reducing socio-economic barriers in FPAN operational areas.
Aryal said that the fertility rate, which was 6.3 in 1976, had came down to 4.1 in 2001 and now the fertility trend was expected to slide further down to 3.5.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), globally 68,000 women die of unsafe abortion each year and 38,000 of them are in Asia.
FPAN Valley Branch was organised oratory compaction to mark the 48th Family Planning Day Wednesday and many young girls participating in the compaction talked about their change behaviour after they were involved in the organisation.
Prasa Shrestha won the compaction and Anima Shrestha and Lina Maharjan came second and third.
* * *
September 9 2007, Indira Aryal, The Rising Nepal