Papua New Guinea must strengthen family planning programmes to reduce the high maternal mortality, says Abau MP Sir Puka Temu.
He was commenting on the first report of the special parliamentary committee on gender-based violence tabled in Parliament yesterday by chairman Charles Abel.
Sir Puka said family planning services should be accessible to everyone.
He focused on a part which said “one critical element that drives the disempowerment, poverty, family instability, violence cycle would be the inability of the woman to plan the timing of and number of children she has”.
Sir Puka said it stressed the importance of family planning.
“One of the development issues in our country is the high maternal mortality rate (resulting from) the poor empowerment of women to plan and time their children. And there is the violence issue,” he said.
He recommended to Health Minister Jelta Wong and the Treasurer to fully fund the family planning programmes.
“The programmes are already there.
“Spend money on family planning so that mothers like those abused can have access to family planning options,” Sir Puka said.
“Such is a simple but very effective empowerment tool.”
He said the implementation and funding of programmes had always being a concern.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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