Mauritius celebrates World Population Day 2018

Bagatelle, Mauritius (PANA) – To improve the quality of life of its people, the Mauritian government plans to reposition its family planning strategy and promote  increased contraceptive use.

The Mauritian Health and Quality of Life Minister, Anwar Husnoo, on Wednesday unveiled the plan, saying that the strategy will enhance visibility, availability and quality services for increased contraceptive use.

It will also promote healthy timing and spacing of births so as to ultimately improve the quality of life of the population, the minister said.

Speaking at an activity marking World Population Day 2018, Mr Husnoo pointed out that the provision of reproductive health services has always been one of the main concerns of the government.

“Health Services in Mauritius are provided free of charge to all citizens, irrespective of their economic situation. There has been a renewed effort to improve reproductive health services through the Primary Health Care Division of the Ministry," he stated.

According to the Minister, health indicators have considerably improved in Mauritius as reflected by the impressive gains in life expectancy for both sexes, particularly for women whose life expectancy has increased from 62 years in 1962 to 78 in 2017, while life expectancy for men has improved from 59 years in 1962 to 71 years in 2017.

He, however, acknowledged that challenges exist regarding sexual and reproductive health in Mauritius.

“We are not only calling for our total fertility rate to increase to a replacement level of 2.1 for a sustainable population but we are also encouraging for responsible parenthood," he underlined.

Mr. Husnoo said some of the challenges include that 8% of the total births in Mauritius are from mothers below the age of 20; increase in the percentage of deliveries by caesarian section from 45.3 % in 2013 to 50.7 % in 2017; decrease in the number of current users of family planning methods in government clinics at the primary health care level from 24,478 in 2013 to 18,057 in 2017, representing a decrease of 26.2 %; and an increase in maternal mortality ratio from 69 per hundred thousand live births in 2013 to 79 per hundred thousand live births in 2017.

He said that measures are being taken to respond to these challenges.

“As such, the Family Planning Programme is targeting younger married and unmarried women, non-users of Family Planning methods and users of less effective methods," he emphasized.

“Measures have also been taken to reinforce the educational programme on sexual and reproductive health issues among students of the secondary schools and educational campaigns are being undertaken to reach the ‘out-of-school youth’ on sexuality and related issues," the Minister indicated.

Other measures include redesigning the Family Planning Services to integrate Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS prevention; promotion of male involvement in family planning and fostering of respectful and responsible sexuality and parenthood; and intensification of public information and education campaigns to raise awareness of
population-related issues so as to enable couples and individuals to exercise their right to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of children.
-0- PANA NA/VAO 11July2018

11 juillet 2018 18:18:48

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