Zimbabwe’s heavy dependency on donor support for family planning methods remains a key issue of concern despite the country recording phenomenal success on contraceptive prevalence.

Evidence shows that the bulk of contraceptive methods such as condoms are entirely supported by USAID.

Pills are also supported by partners such the Department for International Development (DFID), UNFPA and the Dutch government.

Deliberations at a national family planning symposium held in Harare yesterday identified   the importance of crafting domestic financing mechanisms, with the Principal Director – Preventive Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Gibson Mhlanga admitting that budget allocations towards family health have been far from impressive.

While there are opportunities to fund the procurement of oral contraceptives, such avenues have not been utilised, according to the National AIDS Council (NAC) Operations Director, Mr Raymond Yekeye.

With global trends showing that the donor community is shifting priorities to focus on other emerging issues, partners recommend that the country should critically look into re-allocation of resources towards the supply side  of contraceptives.

At a recent meeting held in London, the UK, on the 11th of this month and attended by the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, the government reaffirmed its commitment to reduce the unmet national need for family planning from 13% to 6.5% by 2020, reduce the unmet national need for family planning among adolescent girls from 17% to 8.5% by 2020, and to  increase national access to long acting contraceptive methods.