POPULATION DYNAMICS

The Celebration of the World Population Day under the theme
of equitable access to
family planning

Dossier

In the center,
Dr Rym Fayala Representative Assistant UNFPA Tunisia and Mrs Sonia Ben Cheikh, General Director of the National Office for Family and Population (Tunisia).

Since 1989, Tunisia, along with the rest of the world, has been celebrating the World Population Day. This annual event aims to raise the awareness among the decision-makers, the civil society and the public about population-related issues that need to be addressed, in order to achieve sustainable development goals and promote human rights.

On this occasion, the National Office for Family and Population (ONFP), the Tunisian Association for Reproductive Health (ATSR) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized a round table under the theme "Equitable access to family planning" held on July 11, in Tunis. This event, which brought together more than 100 participants from the different key organizations and fields (decision makers, health professionals, researchers, actors of the civil society…), helped outline the challenges for an equitable access of the Tunisian population to contraception.

The access to safe and voluntary family planning is a fundamental human right. In addition to its key role in poverty reduction and development, family planning is also essential to ensure women’s empowering. It is around these fundamentals that Dr Rym Fayala, Assistant Representative of UNFPA Tunisia, intervened: "Investing in family planning means investing in the health and rights of women and couples around the world. In addition to their social benefits, investment in family planning generates economic gains and fosters the development of nations. "

Mr. Faouzi MOSBAH, Director at the the National Board of Family and Population, presented the current situation of family planning in Tunisia, its new challenges and its prospects. He mentioned: «In Tunisia, the contraceptive prevalence is 62.5% and the rate of use of modern contraceptives is around 50%" and concluded his intervention by "the need for the board to expand its activities in favor of family planning and to position it among the priorities of the Tunisian government ".

The roundtable also featured the results of a study conducted by ATSR in partnership with UNFPA on unmet contraceptive needs in Kasserine & Kairouan: Two regions where the rates of unmet needs are the highest. This study underlined the obstacles faced by the beneficiaries in order to access modern and adapted contraception. The study provided, also, recommendations to ensure an equitable access for contraception for all citizens.

The presentation was followed by a discussion that highlighted two main intervention areas :

  • - The need for capacity building among service providers (basic education, standardization of protocols for family planning services, etc.)
  • - The improvement of access to contraception services for the entire population, especially in underserved areas.