Mozambique supports young people with family planning to improve quality of life

April 29, 2024

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FP2030 annual measurement...

FP2030 annual measurement...


The latest from FP2030

The latest from FP2030



Adolescents & Youth



by Stewart Muchapera

It is midday, and long queues of young mothers with babies strapped at their backs, begin to form at Albazine Health Centre, about 30 minutes’ drive from downtown Maputo the capital city of Mozambique.  

Tucked at the corner end of the sprawling complex is a brightly colored building and young people are making a trek toward it. Inside are health staff and peer educators readying themselves to give free lessons on sexual reproductive health, including family planning, STIs, and HIV and AIDS.  

According to USAID, Mozambique’s population of 33.8 million more than doubled what it was in 1990. The average woman in Mozambique gives birth to 4.9 children in her lifetime. Mozambique has one of the fastest growing rates of modern contraceptive use, but in 2023, 19% of women of reproductive age in Mozambique had an unmet need for modern contraception, meaning they wanted to avoid pregnancy but were not using a modern method of contraception. 

Mozambique’s health infrastructure is limited because of fiscal constraints; more than half of Mozambicans must walk an hour or more to their nearest health facility, and medicine stockouts are common. There are only three doctors per 100,000 people—a proportion that is among the lowest in the world. Systems for tracking, motivating, and retaining staff are weak, and frontline health providers are often poorly trained and have limited management skills. 

The situation has been compounded by multiple crises – frequent cyclones, internal displacement through actions of non-state actors in the northern part of the country, and other health emergencies such as cholera and the COVID-19 pandemic. This has put unaccompanied women and girls at increased risk of gender-based violence, unwanted and unintended pregnancies, and preventable death due to pregnancy and childbirth complications.  

To address Mozambique’s plethora of challenges, the Government of Mozambique is collaborating with multiple development partners to make progress on their FP2030 commitment. This includes the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations agencies, and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Officer (FCDO). Their priorities include increasing investment in FP/RH to reach a projected modern contraceptive prevalence rate of 34.4% among married women aged 15 to 49, regardless of marital status, by 2030.  

“The Government of Mozambique, working with our trusted USAID, has pledged to continue to support efforts to defend the right of individuals, especially women, to plan their families and to end all unmet family planning needs. But it knows it cannot do this alone, so it always works hand in hand with the Ministry of Health and through its funded partners,” said Dr. Alda Govo, Head of the Family Planning/Reproductive Health division at Mozambique’s Ministry of Health. 

Health professionals like Dr. Joacquim Antonio Vumba, director of clinical services at Albazine Health Center, have dedicated their time to save lives by ensuring that all women and girls have access to the sexual and reproductive healthcare services they need, including family planning methods, HIV testing, and gender-based violence response services despite operational constraints. 

“We would like to say thank you to our partners for ensuring that women and girls have access to modern family planning contraceptives, and this is good for the development of the country, a healthy population means more economic growth,” said Dr. Vumba. 

To increase demand for and use of high quality sexual and reproductive health services, with a focus on family planning, Dr. Vumba’s team made up of hospital staff and peer educators carry out periodic community outreaches -- mostly reaching out to young people.  

“The results have been encouraging as we are witnessing an increase in young people taking up available family planning methods,” said Dr. Vumba. 

In its FP2030 commitment, the Government of Mozambique is committed to reducing teenage pregnancies among adolescent girls by prioritizing interventions targeting adolescents to ensure that they have access to family planning information and methods at a location and time that is feasible and convenient. According to USAID, Mozambique’s high rate of early pregnancies (38.3%) is correlated with a low prevalence of modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) amongst adolescents (14.1%).  

Prioritizing strategies for this population will contribute toward the country’s 2030 vision to expand access to family planning services and reduce maternal mortality, allow increase of girls’ enrolment rates in secondary education, and increased number of girls who finish secondary school and enroll into tertiary education, as well reduced prevalence of child marriage.  

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