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Peace Umanah and Other Youth Leaders Win Prestigious Award to Attend International Conference on Family Planning

Fifty youth leaders working in family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) have been awarded scholarships to attend the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) this year in Pattaya City, Thailand, 14-17 November. The awardees will also help shape the content of the conference sessions.

More than 300 youth worldwide applied for the honor, which is named the Youth Trailblazer Award in recognition of the important leadership and innovation youth bring to family planning and SRHR. Awardees were selected from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Approximately a third of all applications were from Francophone Africa.

In addition to travel-related expenses, awardees will help plan programming for and speak at the global conference, which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins University and more than two dozen other public, private and nonprofit sponsors, including the World Health Organization and United Nations Population Fund.

“We expect more young people to attend ICFP this year than ever before – which is very exciting,” said Jose G. Rimon II, director of the Gates Institute and chair of ICFP’s International Steering Committee. “Convening youth from around the world is the best way to ensure diverse voices are heard and strategies are developed that are sustainable, inclusive, culturally competent and representative of sexual and reproductive health and rights at the global level.”

Applicants were invited to submit a short video on the 2022 ICFP theme, “Family Planning & Universal Health Coverage: Innovate. Collaborate. Accelerate.” To ensure equitable access to SRHR for future generations, all countries’ universal health coverage packages need to include youth-friendly family planning and sexual and reproductive health products and services.

2022 Youth Trailblazer Award winners include: Tanaka Chirombo from Malawi; Alison Hoover from Atlanta, Ga.; Muhammad Sarim (Saro) Imran from Pakistan; Aurelia Naa Adjeley Sowah-Mensah from Ghana; and Peace Umanah from Nigeria. To view the complete list of 50 winners, visit icfp2022.org/meet-the-trailblazers.

A dedicated ICFP Youth Pre-conference will take place 11-13 November in Pattaya City to further support youth leaders and their programmatic work, advocacy and research in their respective communities.

The Youth Trailblazer Award selection process was led and managed by two winners of the 120 Under 40 Family Planning Champions, and included additional youth as reviewers.

About Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health

Located in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Gates Institute is dedicated to the advancement of scholarship and science for social change. The Institute conducts and facilitates cutting-edge research in family planning, adolescent and youth reproductive health and populations dynamics, and translates science into evidence-informed policies, programs and practice. For more information, please visit www.gatesinstitute.org.

About International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP)

Since 2009, the International Conference on Family Planning has served as a strategic inflection point for the global reproductive health community. In addition to being the world’s largest scientific conference on family planning and reproductive health, ICFP serves as an international platform for countries, organizations, and individuals to make important commitments and celebrate achievements. Sponsored by the Gates Institute, the ICFP convenes every two years and is scheduled to meet in Pattaya City, Thailand, on 14-17 November 2022. For more information, please visit www.icfp2022.org.

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