The Galen Centre of Health and Social Policy, working with the support of Organon Malaysia will organise a conference with government and non-government stakeholders of reproductive health and family planning to discuss the state of unintended pregnancies in Malaysia and their impact on health and societal wellbeing.
This conference will cover discussions on unmet need for reproductive health services, family planning support systems, education, and gaps in contraceptive availability and access. It will look at practical actions for change.
The outputs from the discussions will be used to guide the development of a policy brief with updated information, understanding and insights into the issue of unintended pregnancies and related issues for the attention of policy and decision makers.
Unintended pregnancies can further lead to cycles of high fertility, as well as lower educational and employment potential and poverty. Unfortunately, use of modern contraceptive methods in Malaysia has been stagnant for the past two decades at 34.3%, a level which is discordant to its status as an upper middle-income country.
Almost half of all pregnancies in Malaysia are unintended (42.9%), with a disproportionate number occurring among younger, unmarried, less-educated, and lower-income women and girls.
Unplanned births tend to have much higher complication rates for both mothers and babies, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality for both. Unofficial data estimated that about 90,000 abortions occur annually in Malaysia. The lack of available and known services have resulted in risky and unsafe abortions.
Attendees to this conference will include representatives from relevant government ministries, sexual reproductive health advocates, non-governmental organisations working on youth and women’s health, as well as representatives from health industry, and academia.