Despite a significant segment of reproductive age population, the use of contraception in Kazakhstan remains low. According to the 2015 Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), the use of modern contraception among married women aged 15-49 years was 50% in 2006 and 49.5% in 2010, and the unmet demand for advanced contraception has remained stable around 13.1% for many years.
Low contraceptive use leads to induced abortions. Abortion remains quite a popular method of birth control in Kazakhstan. Every fifth pregnancy ends with abortion. Modern contraceptives are regularly used by 55% of the richest women and by only 45% of the poorest women; while intrauterine contraceptives are used by 90% of the poorest and 55% of the richest women. Contraceptives in Kazakhstan are among the most expensive in ex-Soviet countries.
To address this situation, the Government of Kazakhstan is committed to ensuring universal coverage with family planning services, including access to information, counselling, services and contraceptives, as an essential component of rights-based reproductive health care. Access to such services is regarded a means to exercise fundamental human rights of free and responsible decision-making on number of children, timing and spacing of births, as well as the right of a child to be born wanted and healthy.
Access to family planning information, services and modern contraceptives will lead to reduced unplanned pregnancies, adolescent pregnancies, abortions, sexually transmitted infections and cervical and ovarian cancers which are lead directly or indirectly to maternal mortality. Therefore, family planning services belong to preventive interventions addressing reduction of manageable causes of maternal mortality and morbidity and bring substantial health benefits. In addition, from an economic point of view, the benefits of family planning outweigh the costs.
The Framework Program document on Family planning is a key policy document for improvement of family planning services in Kazakhstan, with reflection of the strategic vision and directions of activities of the Ministry of Health and Social Development (MHSD) for the next five-year period in Kazakhstan. This policy document will serve as a basis for effective inter-sectoral healthcare system cooperation with other agencies to deliver a comprehensive family planning services and provision of demand for these services, by delivery of education and information to the population of Kazakhstan, with a priority focus on adolescents, young people and socially vulnerable groups of population.
As the result of more than a year consultations with and involvement of national and international experts and active work of working group nominated by Kazakhstan Ministry of Healt on development of the Family Planning Framework Program till 2021 high level meeting took place in December 2016 to present the policy document consistent with national vision and priorities of Kazakhstan.