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11 October 2019, 17:31

Belarus draws up national family planning strategy

MINSK, 11 October (BelTA) – A national family planning strategy has been devised in Belarus. The document will soon be submitted for general public debate, member of the Presidium of the Belarusian Union of Women, head of the central office for medical aid and expert evaluation at the Belarusian Healthcare Ministry Yelena Bogdan said at the round table at the Press House in Minsk on 11 October, BelTA has learned.

“We shall consider all the proposals. The strategy has been developed with current medical advances in mind. It is based on family values, shaping the minds of the youth to create a family and family with kids,“ Yelena Bogdan said.

The draft has been prepared by representatives of the religious confessions, the Belarusian Union of Women and other non-governmental organizations.

The average age at first birth has increased from 27.3 years in 2010 to 29.4 years in 2018, while 18-24 is considered to be the ideal age for childbirth. More and more women decide to have children when they already have concomitant conditions that may complicate the pregnancy. Nevertheless, medical help from doctors allows them to have healthy full-term children. Premature delivery makes up 4%. A multi-tiered healthcare system ensures the survival of the babies with low and extremely low body weight.

Modern medicine gives a chance at motherhood to women with serious illnesses, including those with disabilities and those who underwent organ transplantation. The necessary conditions are created for such patients in maternity hospitals and women's health clinics. Cancer patients can freeze their eggs and are safe to have a pregnancy after treatment. “Over the last few years we had one to two women in wheelchairs give birth. We are currently working to apply clinical guidelines in medical care for such families, as there is a great need for this,” Yelena Bogdan noted.

The issue of pregnancies at mature age has been also addressed by Marianna Shchetkina, Vice Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly, head of the Belarusian Union of Women. “Today young people are more concerned about career, enjoying life. But they need to remember that maternal age has its limits. Healthy children are born to young people,” she said.

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