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Family Planning (FP)
What is Family Planning?
“Family planning” means being able to access counseling on contraceptive methods, and accessing those methods, with the objective of being able to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. Sometimes family planning is also called “birth spacing”, even though that expression does not cover all aspects of contraceptive use.
Program Overview

As a human right, family planning access and uptake is essential for maternal, newborn and child health. In Cambodia, total fertility has fallen from around six children per woman in the early 1980s to three children per woman today. Cambodians clearly wish to have fewer children than before, with that change being particularly felt in the urban areas. While some of the decline in fertility can be explained by a rising age of marriage and migratory labour, the rest cannot be fully explained by increased use of contraceptives. However, legal abortion and unsafe abortion also contribute to the fertility decline.

Contraceptive use is lagging behind national plans. The method mix in Cambodia is also skewed towards short-term methods, and a continual limited use of IUD, permanent surgical methods, or implants. Until only recently family planning was provided at the community and health center levels, and also by private providers. Hospitals did not provide contraception nor has attention been given to People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) in this regard.

BHS is helping to provide contraceptive services at hospitals in four provinces and to PLHA. Contraceptive counseling and provision are being introduced in order to become a routine connection with post-abortion care or abortion care. Moreover, the goal is also to increase the availability of voluntary surgical contraception for men and women. Connected to particular family issues with mother, father, or child (e.g.: severe malnutrition), the parents should be offered contraceptive counseling.

The efforts are done in collaboration with USG-funded partners RHAC, RACHA, MSIPSI and among partners, in order to jointly improve contraceptive counseling and provision at community, health center and hospital levels, in these provinces.

The overall goals being:

  • Increase public awareness about the cost of Family Planning
  • Where they can be obtained in their province
  • Increase contraceptive uptake
  • Create a balanced method mix

The HIV/AIDS program has been very successful in Cambodia, but only recently has the ministerial decision been taken, that permits Opportunistic Infections / Anti-retroviral (OI/ARV) clinics to counsel on and provide not only condoms but also contraceptive pills and Depo-Provera. BHS supports the introduction of FP into the OI/ARV clinics, both through training, and co-financing for poor people through health equity funds.

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