11 Jul 2014

Call to invest in reproductive health in the Pacific

7:12 am on 11 July 2014

A group of New Zealand MPs are calling for Pacific governments to urgently invest in sexual and reproductive health, particularly family planning.

The call, which has been made by the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development - a cross-party group of MPs, coincides with World Population Day.

The group's chair, Paul Hutchison, says issues such as high teenage pregnancy rates and gender-based violence need to be addressed urgently if Pacific nations are to see progress in sustainable development.

Dr Hutchison says when people lack control over their reproductive health they often lack control over their lives and future prospects.

He says many countries in the Pacific have poor sexual and reproductive health indicators, reflecting a lack of prioritisation and investment by governments.