Research scientists say that ensuring contraception is available to all women in low-income and middle-income countries could help prevent unwanted pregnancies – and save sixteen billion dollars a year in maternal and newborn care.
According to the report, countries would ultimately save around $3 dollars in healthcare costs for every dollar spent on making contraception widely available, including counseling on different methods and follow-up services.
“What we’ve shown is that it’s affordable to put sexual and reproductive health as a part of a universal health coverage program,” says Elizabeth Sully, senior research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute in USA.
Currently, 49% of pregnancies, making up 111 million women, in low-income and middle-income countries are unintended each year due to a lack of access, awareness or affordability of contraception. The possible benefits of improving this access “are well within reach and the costs of inaction far too high”, explains Sully.