Public-Private Coordination Committee on total market approach initiated
Partnership between the government and private sector has been strengthened to meet the family planning needs of women in Turkmenistan at the Coordination meeting held by the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry and UNFPA, United Nations Populations Fund. More than 20 representatives of the government and the private sector came together to discuss how to work together to improve women’s access to reproductive health services, including contraceptives.
This year the Government of Turkmenistan has assumed the financial responsibility for the supply of contraceptives, as UNFPA phased out its assistance for procuring reproductive health commodities 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. This requires effective coordination of stakeholders to ensure uninterrupted supply of modern contraceptives.
Worldwide, UNFPA is the largest public sector procurer of modern contraceptives and other commodities essential for ensuring reproductive health, in particular among vulnerable populations. In Turkmenistan, UNFPA has been supporting the supply of contraceptives for over two decades.
“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. “When women are empowered to choose the number, spacing and timing of their children, they face fewer complications during pregnancy and childbirth, and their children and families are healthier.”
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 many 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 government-owned 104 National Reproductive Health Centers country-wide, initially launched by UNFPA, will continue offering the modern methods of contraception free of charge to the women with health conditions or lower socio-economic status.
Ms. Akjemal Durdyeva, Director of the National Reproductive Health Center of Turkmenistan stated that there are 1,5 mln women of fertile age 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 will help us significantly improve maternal and child health in our country,” said Ms. Durdyeva.
Mr. Kemal Goshliyev, UNFPA National Programme Officer on Reproductive Health presented the benefits of total market approach and public-private partnership in ensuring that all women have access to the reproductive health services and commodities. The RH Officer has also presented the results of the recent assessment on market segmentation of women with different needs, including affordability of the contraceptives, and mechanisms to meet those needs.
Initiation of the Coordination committee on integrating the total market approach consisting of both public and private sector representatives was the result of the productive meeting. The sides have proposed the functions, structure and key stakeholders of the Committee under the leadership role of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry. The plan of follow-up actions has been adopted to ensure that the needs of all women are met, particularly vulnerable groups and those in the remote areas.
For additional information, please contact:
Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative
Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate
Web: turkmenistan.unfpa.org, tm.one.un.org