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Fragile, threatened, and in great need: Family planning programs in sub-Saharan Africa

Roy Jacobstein, EngenderHealth
Isaiah Ndong, EngenderHealth
Wuleta Betamariam, EngenderHealth
John M. Pile, EngenderHealth

This paper discusses: 1) the high current and future need for modern family planning in sub-Saharan Africa, as reflected in trends in contraceptive use, unmet need, and fertility; 2) the evidence and reasons for the “fragility” of FP services, as reflected in the experience of five relatively successful family planning programs (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia); and, 3) the challenges and opportunities facing sub-Saharan African family planning programs, with the largest cohorts in history entering their reproductive years, and just to maintain current levels of CPR requiring expansion of services by at least 40%. A wide range of access barriers to family planning are categorized, and proven ways of redressing these barriers are presented. Without having quality FP services that are well aligned with people’s fertility intentions, individual health and well-being will be jeopardized and national development goals will be difficult or impossible to achieve

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Presented in Session 74: The future of family planning programmes in Africa