Contraception - myths and misconceptions discussed in Athens


From left to right: Dr Kazymbek Mambetov, Ministry of Health of Kyrgyz Republic, Prof. Johannes Bitzer, European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health, Dr Gunta Lazdane, WHO/Europe, Dr Dalbaeva Batmabubu, Kyrgyz Slavic University and Ms Elina Mildosova, Government of the Kyrguz Republic

More than 2000 participants from all over Europe and many countries of the world attended the 12th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC&RH) “Myths and misconceptions versus evidence on contraception” that took place in Athens, Greece 20-23 June. It was a great opportunity for all to learn about the latest achievements in contraception and other areas of sexual and reproductive health, to share their experience, success stories and discuss ways for the further improvement in achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health, decreasing unmet needs for family planning and existing inequities.

Sharing progress

Since 2004 ESC&RH has collaborated closely with the WHO/Europe and G.Lazdane, manager of the sexual and reproductive health programme was invited to join the international scientific committee and make a presentation on “The role of policies in the area of sexual and reproductive health in accelerating progress in improving access and quality of services”. This presentation gave the possibility to share the progress made in implementing the WHO Global and European Regional Sexual and Reproductive Health strategies and inform participants about the new European health strategy “Health 2020”.

National societies of ESC&RH had special sessions where topical issues in family planning in Greece, the Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland, UK and Francophone countries were discussed.

Support from WHO guidelines

Many presenters mentioned the importance of the WHO guidelines for improving the quality of services in their countries and for development of national standards. The WHO booth in the exhibition area was very popular. 

Mr.Mambetov, Deputy Minister of Health of Kyrgyzstan discussed with Prof.J.Bitzer, President of ESC&RH and WHO possible joint assistance for the country in improving family planning at primary health care level in the countries. UNFPA Country office in Kyrgyzstan supported development of a poster on the results of the strategic assessment of family planning and abortion services carried out by the Ministry of Health, national experts, civil society organizations, WHO and UNFPA in 2011. The poster raises the interest of health professionals from other countries.  

The next ESC&RH congress will take place in 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal, but in 2013 the First global conference on contraception, reproductive and sexual health will take place in Copenhagen.