Jamaica gets donation of IUCDs from UNFPA
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica has received a donation of intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUCDs), from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to boost the work of the National Family Planning Board (NFPB).
The IUCD is a highly effective method that affords women of childbearing age the opportunity to delay and space their pregnancies, thereby avoiding unwanted and mistimed births.
Speaking at the handover ceremony on August 16 at the NFPB offices on Sylvan Avenue in St Andrew, Executive Director of the agency, Dr Lovelette Byfield, said there is an urgency to address the issue of teenage pregnancy and bring it in line with global acceptance, at 46 births per 1,000 girls.
She said the UNFPA was approached for assistance, and they responded with a positive answer. “This answer has meant support to improve service delivery. These critical tools will further enable the healthcare providers to support women and girls to access the methods,” Dr Byfield said.
The executive director reported that the NFPB has made strides over the past four years to increase awareness and build the capacity of healthcare providers to deliver the services for long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, and critical to service delivery is the acquisition of the correct tools to enable efficient function.
For her part, UNFPA Representative and Director of the Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean, Elizabeth Talbert, said the gift marks a milestone in the “united effort” to advance sexual and reproductive health across the region.
She noted that the UNFPA and the NFPB have “long been at the forefront of advocating for sexual and reproductive health rights and services”.
“At the core of the UNFPA’s mission is our impetus to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. It recognises the alignment of the mission of the NFPB to provide guidance, leadership and advocacy for quality and equitable sexual and reproductive health education and services for all Jamaicans,” Talbert said.
The UNFPA representative noted that the NFPB’s mission resonates “deeply with our shared vision” of empowering individuals to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health, adding that the responsibility of procuring and distributing contraceptive commodities, along with promoting sexual and reproductive health campaigns, rests on the shoulders of the agency.
“In handing over the equipment, we also hand over a piece of hope, progress and empowerment,” Talbert said.
“Our focus on promoting long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, particularly the IUCD, is strategic in addressing the multifaceted challenges of unintended pregnancies. Enhancing access to these contraceptive methods will also help to confront the issue of insufficient access to reproductive health commodities. The IUCD, characterised by its effectiveness, holds the promise of transforming the lives of countless individuals by providing a reliable and long-lasting method of contraception,” she added.