Family planning helps refugees put their families, futures first

July 31, 2015 • Daily Email Recap

Family planning helps refugees put their families, futures first 

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BARATUKU/KIRYADONGO, Uganda – Two brave South Sudanese refugees are defying expectations and speaking frankly about their decision to use family planning. After surviving conflict and enduring a perilous journey to Uganda, they are unwilling to allow social pressure to interfere with their families or their futures, they said.


“I would like to return to school and complete my education,” Mary Acon, 24, told UNFPA. “I will not conceive when I am not ready.”


Family planning is often discouraged in South Sudanese communities. Yet South Sudan has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world, as well as a high fertility rate – an average of 5 children per women – that increases the risk of life-threatening pregnancy complications.


Conditions for women deteriorated even further after violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013. Over 600,000 people have since been forced to flee the country – including Ms. Acon’s family.

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