Adolescents and young people have many of the same needs as other women of reproductive age, but ensuring they have access to contraception poses a unique set of challenges.
Some of these challenges ask us to question our perceptions of who adolescents are as a group, whilst others call for social change at a more fundamental level. This does not daunt us. At Marie Stopes Nepal, we believe that meeting these challenges is critical to ensure that every woman and girl can fulfill her right to choose whether and when to have children.
Access to sex education and contraceptive choice gives adolescents the greatest chance of completing their education, forging their careers, and pursuing their dreams. When a woman is empowered to take control of her fertility and her life, her contribution to her community is maximized. If we are able to empower thousands, or hundreds of thousands of women this way, it can put a whole country on the fast-track to hitting the Sustainable Development Goals.
Family planning has long been considered a priority in Nepal and the majority of contraceptives and other commodities have been procured using government budget including pool funds. In recent years, however, there have been several constraints related to procurement, supply chain management and inventory management which have led to a number of development partners’ direct support in these areas in order to sustain the momentum for family planning.
Annually Government of Nepal in collaboration with partner organizations celebrates National Family Planning Day on 18th September. The main aim of the National Family Planning Program is to ensure that individuals and couples are able to fulfill their reproductive needs by using appropriate family planning methods based on informed choice. Family planning can reduce unmet need for contraceptives and unintended pregnancy which ultimately helps to improve maternal and child health, empowers women by allowing them to invest more in their children and earn wages outside the home. In addition, it also helps communities and country to boost economic growth by expanding healthy and skillful labor force and allowing them to invest more money in school, health care and infrastructure development. Overall, National Family Planning Program helps to improve the quality of life of people and develop a nation. Family planning is one of the priority programs of Government of Nepal, Ministry of Health. It is also considered as a component of reproductive health package and essential health care services of Nepal Health Sector Program II (2010‐2015), National Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan 2015‐ 2021, Nepal Health Sector Strategy 2015‐2020 (NHSS) and the Government of Nepal’s commitments to FP2020.