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Chandra Mani Dhungana

Chandra Mani Dhungana - 2016 Nominee
Position: Reproductive Health Commodity Security Programme Officer
Organization: UNFPA
As a strong advocate for family planning programmes, Mr. Dhungana has scaled up interventions to reach the poor and marginalized women and girls. He has always been advocating for smooth supplies of commodities and expanding the range of family planning commodities across Nepal, including in remote areas. – Santosh Chhetri, Advocacy and Communications Officer at UNFPA
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have been able to bring approaches that are innovative to reach adolescents and youth, poor and marginalized women and men who are in need of family planning services in remote and rural parts of Nepal. These approaches have been scaled up to locations where there is high unmet need and demand for family planning. Costed Implementation Plan for Family Planning has been developed by the government of Nepal in which my involvement is instrumental. I am a strong advocate for expanding methods of Family Planning in the country and likewise advocating for increased access to Family Planning commodities.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

During my work around ten years back, I encountered a women who was brought to health facility with heavy bleeding and was unconscious. When discussing with her husband, I came to know the pregnancy was unwanted and the family practiced traditional methods to abort the fetus. Then I realized the importance of family planning and I shared message that “family planning saves lives” highlighting the case I had met. With long journey in FP and the specific case sparked my passion on Family Planning

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

Reaching the most vulnerable adolescents and youth, poor marginalized women and women with cultural barrier with effective intervention is the biggest challenge I have ever faced. The unmet need among married adolescents of 15-19 years is 42 % followed by 37% among married women age 20-24. This situation is alarming and has even deteriorated after the mega earthquake and political impediment. The other paramount challenge I have faced is the shortages of commodities which hampers all the effort

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

Inequalities in using modern contraceptives, high unmet need among the adolescents and youth and high rate of abortion and secure and systematic supply of commodities are some of the biggest challenges in FP in my country. Balancing between demand and supply of commodity is very challenging here. This can be addressed by various interventions that directly reach the population in need. Increasing the availability of contraceptives from both public and private sector will help increase the users

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

We have learnt spending in Family Planning is an investment, gives return and is interlinked with women’s empowerment. So, my utmost priority will be advocating for resource generation in Family Planning. In this connection, I would like to prepare an advocacy brief for different level of policy makers. I am eager to design an intervention that is targeted and directly reaches women in their household with short term temporary methods. Reaching the unreached in nutshell.

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