Tiranë - July 24, 2012 – The Albanian Ministry of Health today launched the 2012 – 2016 National Contraceptive Security Strategy, a result of joint efforts by Albanian and international experts with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Albania.
This event was attended by Regional Directors of Public Health, specialists of the Institute of Public Health and officials of the Ministry of Health.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Vangjel Tavo and the UN Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Representative, Ms. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun welcomed the strategy and recognised in their respective speeches the progress done in the area of family planning in Albania over the past 10 years. They also emphasised that there is room for growth in increasing the contraceptive prevalence rate and in enhancing the status of reproductive health and family planning in Albania.
The main purpose of the new Albanian National Contraceptive Security Strategy is to ensure that men and women in Albania can choose, obtain and use modern methods of contraception and high quality family planning services. The strategy aims to increase the demand and access to quality reproductive health and family planning services – through increasing the contraceptive prevalence rate, to reduce the number of abortions and to improve maternal and child health in Albania.
The Demographic and Health Survey conducted in Albania during 2008 – 2009 showed that the use of family planning methods was 69 % for all methods with withdrawl accounting for 58%, while for the modern contraceptive methods the prevalence was only 11%. Additionally, with a drop in total fertility rates from 2.6 (Reproductive Health Survey 2002) to 1.6 (Albanian Demographic and Health Survey 2008/09) there are indications that modern methods of contraception are being used but the figures show that the contraceptive prevalence rate has slowly increased.
The Reproductive Health Strategy developed for the period 2009 – 2015 prioritises family planning and provides a framework also for contraceptive security and it sets the strategic goal to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate by 30% more than the 2008 levels (11%) by 2015.
UNFPA, in strong coordination and collaboration with donor agencies, has played a pivotal role in supporting Albanian Health Sector Institutions in the development and implementation of a series of strategic interventions including:
- Establishment and strengthening of the Logistics Management Information System for Contraceptives;
- Development of strategic documents such as the Reproductive Health Strategy and Contraceptive Security Strategy;
- Conduct of major studies such as the Demographic and Health Survey;
- Development of the National Family Planning Protocol;
- Building capacities of health care providers in the area of family planning;
- Provision of basic medical equipments to improve the quality of service provision at maternity hospitals and to impact positively on maternal and infant health in Albania.
The United Nations through the 2012 – 2016 Programme of Cooperation is committed to provide continuous support to the Albanian Ministry of Health in strengthening Reproductive Health and Family Planning services.