The fifth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from November 12 to 15, 2018. The announcement was made today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Rwanda, the conference co-hosts. The ICFP will be held at the state-of-the-art Kigali Convention Centre, which in the past has hosted the 27th African Union Summit and other high-level meetings.
The ICFP is held biennially, each time in a different host country, and remains the largest scientific conference on reproductive health and family planning. The last ICFP, held in Indonesia in 2016, attracted over 3,500 delegates and participants from more than 100 countries.
“The Government of Rwanda is privileged to host the fifth International Conference on Family Planning delegates in Kigali, Rwanda, and is committed to working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute to ensure that the event is successfully hosted in the country,” said Minister of Health Diane Gashumba. “Rwandan President Paul Kagame was one of the distinguished attendees of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, at which he joined the co-hosts, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom, along with other national governments, donors, civil society, the private sector, and the research and development community, in a groundbreaking promise to make affordable contraception available to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by 2020. We are excited to host the family planning community in Rwanda to continue our collective work and learn from each other’s experiences to find new ways to help us realize this goal.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Rwandan Ministry of Health for the 2018 ICFP,” said Jose “Oying” Rimon II, Director of the Gates Institute and Chair of the International Steering Committee of the ICFP. “It will be wonderful to return to Africa for the 2018 conference, and to highlight some of the spectacular gains in family planning that are occurring in many parts of Africa today, as well as the challenges that lie ahead.”
Rwanda is one of the family planning success stories of recent history. The first decade of the 2000s saw great achievements: a dramatic rise in the country’s contraceptive prevalence rate for modern methods between 2000 and 2007, and a drop in total fertility rate from 6.1 in 2000 to 4.6 in 2010. Rwanda’s leadership has been highly supportive of family planning; in recent years, the country has invested in its network of community health workers (CHWs), run communications campaigns to drive demand and behavior change, and provided training on long-acting and permanent contraceptive methods. Yet progress has slowed, despite Rwanda’s continued commitment to family planning as a way to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for the sustainable development of its people and the world.
Held biennially since 2009, the ICFP serves as a strategic inflection point for the family planning and reproductive health community worldwide. It provides an opportunity for political leaders, scientists, researchers, policymakers, advocates, and youth to disseminate knowledge, celebrate successes, and identify next steps toward reaching the goal of enabling an additional 120 million women to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020.
The ICFP also serves as an international platform from which countries, organizations and individuals can make public commitments to family planning, and can be recognized for their achievements. Dozens of side events are organized around the conference by many institutions and groups from around the world.
The previous conferences were held in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, in 2016; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2013; Dakar, Senegal, in 2011; and Kampala, Uganda, in 2009.
The website for the 2018 ICFP, fpconference.org, will be updated as more details are known.
The 2018 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) is co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, based at the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Republic of Rwanda’s Ministry of Health. The 2018 ICFP is made possible with support from the ICFP Core Organizing Group—United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DfID), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), United Nations Foundation (UNF), Government of the Netherlands, and Marie Stopes International (MSI)—as well as the International Steering Committee, comprised of more than 50 partner organizations, and the National Steering Committee of the ICFP.