Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of Health and Public Hygiene Aouélé Eugène Aka on July 30.

The Challenge Initiative’s family planning program received high praise recently in Côte d’Ivoire from the country’s Minister of Health.

Minister of Health and Public Hygiene Aouélé Eugène Aka applauded the Initiative in a July 30 speech commemorating the launch of the 2018 Family Planning Social and Behavior Change Mass Communication Microplan.

“There is no longer any doubt today that family planning contributes to the improved sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youth, men, and women of reproductive age,” Aka said. “My greetings to our elected officials, the mayors who understand the impact of family planning on the development of their communities, and who are financially engaged alongside the ministry through the implementation of the Initiative.”

Aka is committed to increasing the availability of contraceptives and the contraceptive commodity budget in Cote d’Ivoire, while making youth-friendly family planning and reproductive health services more widely available and improving the country’s contraceptive supply chain. The Initiative is already implementing in Bouaké and will soon begin implementation of its high-impact, evidence-based approaches in Abidjan.

The Initiative is led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It is implemented by IntraHealth International in Francophone West Africa.

Photo courtesy of Cote d’Ivoire Family Planning and Reproductive Health Youth Ambassadors.