Kuala Lumpur, 21 May 2022 — During the closing of the conference “Tackling Unintended Pregnancies in Malaysia” conference, the Government expressed its commitment to addressing the issue of unintended pregnancies in Malaysia. It does this through strategic policies and support for programmes and services, which includes reproductive and social health education. This needs to be implemented systematically in Malaysia through an approach which is age appropriate and cognitive maturity.
Datuk Dr Maziah Che Yusoff, Secretary General of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, in her closing speech on behalf of the Minister, highlighted the Government’s commitment to addressing the issue of unintended pregnancies through the review and update of policies such as the National Reproductive and Social Health Education Policy for the period of 2022 – 2025 using a consultative approach.
“The policies regarding reproductive rights in Malaysia must take into consideration religious and cultural factors which influence behaviour and attitudes on issues including unintended pregnancies.”
“However, reproductive health services such as providing contraceptives must also be seen as essential elements.”
“Social and reproductive health education is fundamental to the development of the wellbeing of a healthy individual. It must include life long learning covering all aspects of the biological, sociocultural, and spiritual. To ensure that healthy behaviour is practiced by all.”
Bilal Somra, Executive Director for Organon Malaysia, highlighted that the conference had repeatedly emphasised on the importance of addressing the need to improve access to modern contraceptives, particularly for young people. “When young women are empowered to choose a modern form of contraception that works for them, they are more likely to achieve higher levels of education, thus leading to more positive outcomes for the rest of their life.”
“Another our theme that emerged is the importance of engaging with a broad array of stakeholders, including religious leaders. Those who have influence across a diverse array of communities are critical to engage with on this subject. We cannot afford to exclude them.”
“While it is important to shape policy at the highest levels, it is also deeply necessary to go to the local and community levels and engage with thought leaders, of all backgrounds, to ensure that policy responses are sensitive and appropriate to the context of the community, and therefore the women, in need.”
The 2-day conference “Tackling Unintended Pregnancies in Malaysia” brings together more than 100 government and non-government stakeholders of reproductive health and family planning, gynecologists, and researchers to discuss issues related to unintended pregnancies in Malaysia.
The conference is organised by the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy with the support of Organon Malaysia.