Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Huffington Post (July 17, 2017): Investing In Women's Reproductive Health: The Value of $8, by Seema Jalan
New research from the Guttmacher Institute reveals that the need for contraceptives, quality maternal care, and new born health care could be met with only $8.39 per person in the developing world . However, this need is going unmet for millions of women. The research showed that 214 million women in developing countries want to avoid pregnancy but cannot do so using modern contraceptives for numerous reasons. These 214 million women make up approximately 84% of unintended pregnancies in developing regions.
The study also shows that the need for contraceptives, maternal care, and newborn health care are all connected. When all three are provided alongside the others it is the "greatest return on investment...a 130% return." In addition to being economical, it will also save lives. This year alone more than 300,000 women in the developing world will die from pregnancy-related causes, and 2.7 million babies will die in their first month of life. If women had the ability to plan for and space out their pregnancies in combination with receiving quality maternal and new born health care, those numbers would be dramatically reduced. Not only would it reduce deaths; it would also allow women to stay in school and break the cycle of poverty. In order to eliminate the gap and provide quality reproductive health care to women and families in the developing world, investments need to be made by governments, individuals, and civil society.