Reuters: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is key to achieving the SDGs
As per a study by the World Bank, had the world addressed 90 percent of global unmet need for family planning by 2015, it would have reduced annual births by almost 28 million, consequently preventing 67,000 maternal deaths, 440,000 neonatal deaths, 473,000 child deaths and 564,000 stillbirths.
Global data indicates that the greatest benefits from reducing unintended pregnancies would be seen in the poorest countries, with GDP increases ranging from one to eight percent by 2035. There are few interventions that would result in such wide-ranging impacts while offering such incredible return on investment.
Governments working alone, or with development partners only, cannot do everything required to raise standards of health. They need the support of civil society and private sector with its talent, drive, expertise, and resources to leapfrog their health systems.
Turning to Kenya, it is important to note that the country has over recent years made important strides in improving health and wellbeing of its people. The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KHDS) 2014 clearly shows this progress in a decline of the maternal mortality and childhood death ratios in Kenya. The progress is supported by the devolved system, where counties are increasing their allocation to the health sector. Denmark supports this by funding primary health care facilities directly through the counties.
But to maintain this momentum Kenya needs to urgently address issues affecting the health sector, create room for improvement and explore new avenues to expand universal primary health care through partnerships.
Honored to co-author this piece with Ms Metter Kundsen, Denmark's Ambassador to Kenya:
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