World Population Day in Haiti marked by awareness raising activities

18 July 2017
Raising awareness about family planning through theater

Port-au-Prince, July 12, 2017 --- UNFPA celebrated this year the World Population Day on 11 July on the theme "Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.

In Haiti, UNFPA decided to put emphasis on bringing this debate to the communities and organize a number of awareness raising activities.

Also it supported the provision of reproductive health and family planning services to some communities in need. For example, UNFPA Haiti's Reproductive Health Program Officer, Vavita Leblanc, hosted a quiz on Radio Kiskeya, a well known private station, on July 8 to test people's knowledge of family planning and its relationship to gender equality and sustainable development.

On 11 July, on the radio-tv show, le Point, of Radio Métropole, another prominent private station, Assistant Representative for UNFPA Haiti, Moetsi Duchatelier, alongside Dr Max Dervil from Profamil, a reference institution for family planning in Haiti continued sensitization on these key issues. On the same day, colleagues from UNFPA Haiti were welcomed to two other popular programs respectively of Radio Nationale d'Haiti (the State Radio) and Signal FM, a private station.

Celebration activities culminated on 12 July with the organization of a mobile clinic in the metropolitan area in order to bring sexual and reproductive health services closer to the population particularly those most in need. This clinic, which was supported by UNFPA, was jointly organized by the Association of Midwifery Nurses of Haiti and Fosref (the Foundation for Reproductive Health and Family Education). More than one hundred people, mostly women, were seen at this mobile clinic which provided various services : general consultation, gynecological consultation and family planning. The patients also obtained medicines for free.

As recalled by the UNFPA representative for Haiti, Marielle Sander, “World Population Day took on a special dimension this year as it coincided with the London Summit on Family Planning, the second meeting of the Donor and Party Consortium Family Planning 2020 ", which aims to extend access to family planning to an additional 120 million women by 2020."

Through the organization of these various events and activities, UNFPA-Haiti intended to highlight the importance of investing in family planning - as an essential tool for self-reliance and life skills both for women and men, as well as investment in the health and rights of women and couples - and to emphasize the essential work of health professionals, particularly midwives, and non-governmental organizations and Civil society, working together to save lives, empower women and lay the groundwork for the realization of rights and development.

In Haiti, the use of modern family planning methods is only 31 percent among women aged 15-49, with an unmet need of 35 percent (50 percent for girls aged 15 to 24).

Pregnancy among adolescents, including girls under 15, is a concern. It is estimated that 32% of women gave birth at least once before the age of 20 and 2% before 15.