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Family Planning

Family Planning

Family planning is a key life-saving intervention for mothers and their children. In Sierra Leone, UNFPA supports a holistic approach to family planning from the procurement of commodities to the training of providers and effective service delivery to reach women and adolescents at the last mile. In 2019, UNFPA supplied over $3.1 million worth of contraceptives and life-saving maternal health medicines with funding from UK aid and the UNFPA Supplies programme

According to the 2019 Sierra Leone Demographic Health Survey, the unmet need for family planning in the country is 25 percent for all women. The total fertility rate is high and estimated at 4.2 children per woman. The contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) among married women varies with age, rising from 14% among women age 15-19 to a peak of 27% among women age 25-29 before declining to 9% among women age 45-49.

To achieve the transformative results to end the unmet need for family planning, the country office strengthened partnerships to provide sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning services, supported the strengthening of supply chain systems, built capacity for rights-based family planning services, and aided the improvement of family planning service delivery in the country. 

According to the 2019 UNFPA Supplies Survey, UNFPA supported the availability and provision of at least three modern contraceptives in over 99 per cent of government service delivery points. As the country still faces challenges of stock-outs at different levels of service delivery with about 77.1 percent having experienced stock out of any of the modern contraceptive methods in the period of three months, UNFPA continues to support the government both technically and financially to strengthen the supply chain. 

Scaling up interventions for contraceptive provision

In 2019, 1,157 service providers were trained to provide quality family planning services. Of these, 472 were midwives and nurses trained in the provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives, including the post-partum intra-uterine device and short-term methods. Fifteen doctors were also trained in the intra-caesarean postpartum intra-uterine device. This training facilitated the introduction of post-partum family planning services in the country.

In 2019, through UNFPA’s support for family planning services, 373,570 couple years of protection were achieved (the estimated protection provided by contraceptive methods in a one-year period). As a result, 1,251 maternal deaths and 66,573 unsafe abortions were averted, and 160,737 unintended pregnancies prevented.  A total of 538,000 clients were provided with family planning services and information. There were 253,000 additional users of modern contraception.