Kingdom of Thailand, Southeast Asia is the venue of 6th International Family Planning Conference, organisers, Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Ministry of Public Health of the Kingdom of Thailand, Royal Thai College of Obstetricians ans Gynaecologists as well as the Population and Community Development have announced.
ICFP Thailand 2021 is billed to hold between February 1-4 to discuss the plans and strategies for family planning “beyond 2020” . The conference according to the organisers seeks to realign goals and reposition the future of family planning,
Thailand’s family planning and reproductive health programs represent what is possible when government, public health groups, and civil society organizations work in tandem on health, rights, and poverty issues.
Held biennially since 2009, the Family Planning Conference serves as a strategic inflection point for the family planning and reproductive health community worldwide.
ICFP provides an opportunity for political leaders, scientists, researchers, policymakers, advocates, and youth to disseminate knowledge, celebrate successes, and identify next steps toward reaching the goal of enabling an additional 120 million women to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020 – and beyond.
Destination Thailand for the International Family Planning Conference is based on the numerous achievements of the country in the community of Family Planning, organisers say.
Thailand, through its partnerships with local organizations, political will of the government and bold imagination in designing its family planning program, increased contraceptive use among all women from 15 to 70 percent since passing its national population policy in 1971.
What started as a pilot study among rural women transformed into a full-fledged national family planning program over the two decades following its implementation, reducing the population total fertility rate from 6.1 to 1.5.
Thailand’s family planning program has been so successful, in part, because of the novel ways in which it popularized family planning early in its launch (wherever you see cabbages you see condoms), and the critical role that the government played in making services available closer to the people, especially through district hospitals linked to community-based programs.
Thailand serves as an example for other low- to middle-income countries about the great strides that are possible in reproductive health, HIV, and other development indicators when you invest in women by investing in family planning. Knowledge creation, social mobilization, and policy advocacy are the three angles of Thailand’s tri-power strategy for successful family planning programming. This allows the Thai government and its people to utilize their limited resources for universal coverage in the most efficient ways.
According to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul,“Thailand’s Population Program, begun in the early 1970s, has been very successful. From the early 1970s to 1987, contraceptive prevalence increased from 14.8 to 70.6%. Thailand’s success is the charisma and creativity of its family planning leadership,
“The Thai program has stated a clear delineation of roles for nongovernment organizations. Success is also due to the program’s demographic-economic approach, which stresses the economic implications of population growth. Finally, the availability and accessibility to family planning services has greatly contributed to the success of the program. All government hospitals have a family planning clinic, and midwives, nurses, and doctors all receive family planning training. The Thai Population Program has evolved from a purely family planning contraceptive service to a community development program designed to improve the productivity of individuals. This could be a role model for many other countries. We are happy to share our experiences with you and look forward to welcoming you to Thailand.”
In the words of Karun Kengsakul M.D., President of The Royal Thai College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.“It is such a great honor and privilege to cohost the ICFP 2021. It will be a great opportunity for us to discuss groundbreaking ideas in the field of modern family planning, solidify our challenging goals and move forward towards the next decades.
“Expertise in medicine, excellent collaboration, and professional management have successfully lowered the birth rate of Thailand. Although Thailand is a relatively small country, our success in the field of family planning has become a good example for many nations. However, we are eager to learn more from you about issues relating to new contraceptive technologies and better access to family planning services, especially among adolescents and minorities. Health services and implementation research are also very important for providing better family planning services. We look forward to welcoming international colleagues and friends. See you at ICFP 2021 in Thailand, a land of smiles”, says Kengsakul.