Assessment of the Family Planning Services in the Republic of Serbia

No. of pages: 47

Publication date: January 2013

Author: Mihai Horga, Hajrija Mujović-Zornic

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Family planning is a strategic investment in women, communities and nations, yet it is still an unattained luxury many take for granted. In 1994, world leaders charted a new course for global sexual and reproductive health and rights at the ICPD Conference held in Cairo, Egypt. For the first time the health and rights of women became a central element in an international agreement on population and development when 179 countries/governments adopted the Plan of Action. The agreement calls on Governments to eliminate gender inequality, ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care and family planning and upholds the rights of individuals especially women, to freely decide when and if to have children.

 

Appropriate family planning is important to the health of women and children by: preventing pregnancies that are too early or too late; extending the period between births; and limiting the number of children. Access by all couples to information and services to prevent pregnancies that are too early, too closely spaced, too late or too many is critical.

 

A recent study conducted by UNFPA showed that usage rates for modern contraceptive methods is alarmingly low in many countries of the Eastern Europe-Central Asia region. In five countries of the region (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia) this rate is below the average of 22% for the least developed countries (State of the World Population Report, 2010). When comparing abortion rates with contraceptive prevalence, the figures show that in the countries with high abortion rates a very high percentage of women who are trying to delay or prevent pregnancy are not using a reliable method of contraception.

 

According to the Serbia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey MICS (UNICEF 2010), the current use of modern contraceptive methods is only 22 percent. The most popular modern method is the male condom, which accounts for 14 percent, while only between 3 and 4 percent of women used the IUD and the pill. 7 percent of women married or in union have an unmet need for contraception. For every one live birth there are 5 abortions.

 

 

PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION

The purpose of the evaluation is to support the Ministry of Health in the assessment of the family planning services in the country, with particular emphasize on family planning realities and needs in Sandžak region.

In particular, the evaluation conducted:

 

A rapid review of family planning clinical guidelines, protocols and other related documents in existence;

 A rapid review of the quality of care provided by the reproductive health/family planning services at primary care level;

 An assessment of available reproductive health/family planning training for the health service providers and assess the linkage between the training programmes and quality of care;

 An assessment of the existence of available IEC/BCC products and activities.

 

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