5 Sep 2014

Call for improved family planning in PNG

9:18 am on 5 September 2014

The MP for Sumkar in Papua New Guinea says almost half of PNG's adult population cannot gain access to family planning assistance.

Ken Fairweather, the chairman of the Parliamentary Group on population, has spoken of the stigma attached to family planning.

But he says it is far more dangerous to be pregnant in PNG than it is to be using any modern, effective method of contraception.

PNG's maternal mortality rate of 733 per 100,000 births is the worst in the Pacific region.

The Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has also told parliament of the need to improve family planning in PNG, including the use of contraceptive implants for women.

"Mr Speaker, these implants can be removed any time, when they want to start up a family, and the young women are going to be fertile enough to have children. It is not something that is implanted so you will be sterile forever. Mr Speaker, we want to have population growth in the country but sustainable population growth."

Papua New Guinea's prime minister, Peter O'Neill.