Government approves the Public-Private Coordination Committee to meet the family planning needs of women in Turkmenistan

7 November 2017
A woman receives family planning counseling at the Reproductive health room in the province

The Government of Turkmenistan signed and approved the establishment of the public-private coordination committee on ensuring universal access to reproductive health commodities, initiated by UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund.  New partnership between the government and private sector will reduce the gap in women’s access to reproductive health services, enabling them to realize their reproductive rights, especially those farthest behind. 

Establishment of the new Coordination Committee On Ensuring the Supply of Reproductive Health Commodities in State and Private Pharmacies, Reproductive Health Centers and Rooms, as per the Order of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, was the result of the UNFPA advocacy meeting in April 2017.  More than 20 representatives of the government and private sectors came together to discuss how to work together to improve women’s access to reproductive health services, including contraceptives, in the context of UNFPA’s phasing out assistance to the country. 

Following UNFPA’s two decades of contraceptives supply in Turkmenistan, this year the Government of Turkmenistan has assumed full financial responsibility for procurement of contraceptives due to the upper-middle income level status of the country.  While the Government will cover the needs of the vulnerable population, there is a need to fill the gap and meet the needs of the rest of the women of fertile age who want to use contraception.  This is where the private sector comes into play.  The newly established Coordination Committee will provide effective coordination of stakeholders to ensure uninterrupted supply of modern contraceptives essential for ensuring reproductive health, in particular among vulnerable populations.

“Family planning saves lives.  We’re proud that our strategic partnership with the Government of Turkmenistan in ensuring universal access of women in Turkmenistan to reproductive health services has sustainable results,” said Ms. Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Turkmenistan Assistant Representative.  “Expanding options and choices for the women by empowering them to enjoy their right to make their own decisions about the timing and spacing of pregnancies is one important pathway towards their economic security and independence.  It is also a pathway towards more balanced economies and societies.”

Nearly half of women of fertile age of Turkmenistan use modern methods of contraception.  Another 12 percent are defined as having an unmet need for modern contraception, meaning they would like to delay or avoid childbearing but don’t have means or access to contraception.

For the last three years, UNFPA has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry to address these issues by integrating a ‘total market approach’ to family planning in Turkmenistan. This means working with multiple sectors – including the government sector and commercial suppliers – to ensure that all people can choose, obtain and use quality contraceptives whenever they need them. 

The Order on establishment of the Coordination Committee sets out the structure, key stakeholders and functions of the Committee under the leadership role of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry. 

As per the Order, the government-owned 95 National Reproductive Health Centers countrywide, also initially launched by UNFPA, will continue offering the modern methods of contraception free of charge to the women with at risk health conditions or low socio-economic status.  According to the National Reproductive Health Center of Turkmenistan, there are 1.5 mln women of fertile age in Turkmenistan and nearly 16 percent are registered as most at risk women.  “Identifying women in need and equipping them with modern methods of contraception in a timely manner through the newly established mechanism will help us significantly improve maternal and child health in our country,” said Ms. Akjemal Durdyeva, Director of the Center.

 

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For additional information, please contact:

Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative

garabayeva@unfpa.org

 

Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate

tuyliyeva@unfpa.org

Tel: 488324

Web: turkmenistan.unfpa.org, tm.one.un.org