Laos has among the lowest contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR) in Southeast Asia, at 49.8%. Due to low availability of contraceptives and a limited range of contraceptive choices, unmet need for family planning is high, affecting 19.9% of all currently married women of reproductive age (WRA). Laos also has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios (MMR) in the region, estimated at 357 per 100,000 live births, the equivalent of nearly 12 women dying each week (ibid). Under the 2013-2015 Women’s Health Project (WHP), PSI/Laos works to ensure that all Lao women have access to affordable family planning services and are equipped with the information they need to make informed contraceptive choices. PSI/Laos provides intensive technical assistance to build the capacity of public sector providers to enable them to offer voluntary IUD insertion services, while also using Interpersonal Communication (IPC) agents to generate informed demand for family planning methods through village-level outreach. Through the WHP, PSI/Laos aims to raise the percentage of WRA using IUDs from 1.6% in 2011 to 4.0% by the end of 2015.
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