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Increasing family planning availability

Increasing availability and access to quality family planning services and addressing the unmet need for contraceptives among individuals and couples is a key priority of the work of UNFPA, the United Nations Populations Fund, globally and in Nepal.

Depo-Provera or Depot Medroxy-Progesterone Acetate (DMPA) is a progestin-only injectable contraceptive. Taken every three month, it is an effective and safe modern contraceptive method. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, it also helps protect against cancer of the lining of the uterus (endometrial cancer), uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease and iron-deficiency anemia. It is also known to reduce symptoms of endometriosis, including pelvic pain and irregular bleeding.

DMPA is the most popular temporary method of contraceptives among women in Nepal (NDHS, 2011). According to the Annual Report of the Department of Health Services, there were 432,080 women already using DMPA and an additional 240,285 women who initiated its use in 2012-13. However, due to an impending shortage of this family planning commodity earlier this year, the Ministry of Health and Population approached UNFPA and other partners for support in addressing this crisis.

Through its Global Programme on Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS), UNFPA Nepal was able to respond to the call and recently provided 1.5 million vials of DMPA to the Government of Nepal, in addition to 4,600 to Marie Stopes International (MSI) and 258,400 to Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN). 

Likewise, UNFPA procured 558,000 cycles of Oral Contraceptive Pills, 29,700 sets of Implant, 9,000 units of Emergency Pills; 14,400 pieces of male condoms and 8,000 pieces of female condoms, in addition to other essential reproductive health commodities for FPAN and MSI. These commodities will help the government, FPAN and MSI to offer women and men contraceptives of their individual choices.

UNFPA is committed to continue its partnership with the GoN in ensuring universal access to quality family planning services to all Nepali women, men and couples, including young people from the most marginalized and vulnerable groups.