Family planning allows individuals to attain their desired number of children and determine their spacing of pregnancies. Access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human rights and the woman or the couple have the right to choose the contraceptive method which best suits them.
In Cameroon, family planning includes:
- Birth control
- Treating sexually transmitted infections
- Ensuring that contraceptive methods are available to all, in order to reduce and avoid maternal, infant and child mortality and morbidity, especially those related to HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions
- Ensuring personal and family well-being.
Family planning saves lives by raising awareness about the risk of poorly spaced pregnancies on women's health and lives, it reduces child mortality and prevents HIV/AIDS. As a result of family planning, the population is able to make better decisions with respect to sexuality and birth control. Family planning empowers women and also has economic benefits.
The goal of this program is to implement family planning in at least 80% of health facilities in Cameroon and increase the contraceptive prevalence rate from 16.1% in 2014 to 30.56% by 2020. PLMI plans on attaining these goals by:
- Improving the quality and quantity of family planning services.
- Improving the demand, surveillance and coordination of birth control.
- Advocating for a favorable political, financial and judicial environment necessary for family planning implementation.
In Cameroon, like other developing countries, insufficient contraceptive use may be due to:
- Limited access to contraceptives and choice of contraceptives in certain areas.
- Fear of side effects.
- Religious or cultural beliefs
- Poor quality of family planning service providers
- Prejudice by users and suppliers.