Act with Her initiative launched on World Contraception Day to empower Egyptian women

Ingy Deif, Monday 26 Sep 2022

World Contraception Day, which falls on 26 September, was marked in Cairo on Sunday with the launching of a new initiative dubbed Act with Her that aims to advance the health of Egyptian women in order to empower them.

experts discussing women health in Egypt

 

The event was organised in cooperation with Organon’s global healthcare company which focuses on research and innovations that address women's unmet healthcare needs.

The company has implemented several programs to advance women's health in the region in recent years.

These programs included a training program in Egypt in collaboration with four of the country's top medical schools – at Ain Shams, Cairo, Al-Azhar and Alexandria universities – that educated 200 medical professionals in the latest family planning techniques and safe methods to insert and remove long-acting contraceptive options.

A host of experts from various women's health fields who attended the launch of the initiative discussed ways for stakeholders to identify both women’s healthcare needs and also challenges that impede their access to necessary medical services.

Panelists shed light on various ways to raise awareness of family planning options and minimise existing barriers to access contraception.

They also discussed various strategies to assist women in making informed decisions about their reproductive health.

MD Ayman Abul-Nour, the head of the Gynecology Department at Ain Shams University, stressed during the discussion that the new initiative is crucial for changing the narrative about family planning.

 “When women have control over the timing of their pregnancy, they are more likely to attain higher education and better health outcomes,” he said.

Meanwhile, MD Rania Elwani, a gynecology consultant and former Egyptian swimming champion, affirmed that women should under-go regular checkups and initiate the right conversation with their doctors.

MD Hisham Stait, the deputy head of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement (UPA), noted that supporting women’s right to choose the timing of their pregnancies leads to economic and educational empowerment as well as health equity. 

According to recent surveys on women's health, roughly 20.5 percent of pregnancies in 2021 were unplanned.

Egypt spends over EGP 100 million (approximately $5.2 million) to offer family planning methods for free or at reduced prices as the country seeks to lower its rate of population growth.

In February of this year, the country's population hit 103 million, with females comprising 47.5 million.

The fertility rate per woman in Egypt declined in 2021 to 2.8, a 20 percent drop from the 3.5 births per woman figure in the last survey conducted in 2014, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

MD Amal Abdel-Hayy, the head of the Directorate of Motherhood and Childhood at the Ministry of Health and Population, reviewed at the event government efforts in supporting women during pregnancy.

Finally, Laila Baker, the regional director for Arab States in UNFPA, the UN agency for sexual and reproductive health, highlighted the need for greater collaboration among stakeholders to deliver the impact needed to prioritise women’s healthcare in the country and the region.

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