Thousands attend landmark Family Planning Conference in Senegal

29 NOVEMBER 2011 | DAKAR, Senegal

Thousands from around the world gathered in Dakar, Senegal for the the International Conference on Family planning. As the largest meeting of its kind, its aim is to push forward an agenda for broad family planning access and support around the world.

The historic four-day conference featured more than 140 plenaries, sessions and panels sharing latest research, proven strategies, and lessons learned in addressing the massive need for contraception worldwide. Participants hope to galvanize greater political and financial support, hold governments accountable for their commitments, and champion contraceptive innovation and access.

In a world of seven billion, empowering women and ensuring access to contraception for all individuals is more important than ever. “Now is the time to prioritize family planning – as a strategy to reduce maternal mortality, to improve the lives of women and their families, and ultimately, to enable broad and enduring economic development,” said Dr. Amy Tsui, Director of the Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a lead conference organizer.

To launch this landmark meeting, Melinda Gates welcomed more than 2,000 participants in a video address. An opening plenary featured remarks from: His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal; Her Excellency Chantal Compaoré, the First Lady of Burkina Faso; the Honorable Stephen O’Brien, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State of DFID; and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Populations Fund.

Today, more than 215 million women worldwide want but do not have access and the need for family planning access, affordability, and effectiveness has never been greater. But conference organizers say the solutions have never been more attainable. The wealth of scientific knowledge, family planning experience, and critical discussions at ICFP will help ensure that universal access to family planning becomes a reality.

The ICFP is co-sponsored by more than 30 international organizations including USAID, DFID,AFD, UNFPA, WHO, European Commission, World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.