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Malawi Med J. 1993 Mar;9(1):3-5.

Family planning -- a priority social and health action programme for Africa and the role of the physician.



The issues of contraception and family planning have been particularly sensitive and complex in sub-Saharan Africa. Family planning programs which promote the use of safe and effective modern methods of contraception have generally not been well received on the continent. The reality, however, is that sub-Saharan Africa has a rapidly growing population in the context of the world's least developed region. 25 of the world's 35 least developed countries are in sub-Saharan Africa. It is difficult enough to maintain existing services for populations in the region let alone expand them to meet the needs of even more people. Family planning should be seen as one of several strategies or interventions in an overall and integrated socioeconomic development plan. Unless population growth slows sharply and rapidly, living standards will continue to fall, unemployment and poverty will increase, and famine and hunger will lead to accelerated rural-urban migration, threatening national security and peace. The provision of family planning and high-quality reproductive health care can also help reduce the currently high levels of maternal mortality and morbidity. Physicians need to become more actively involved in advocating and providing family planning services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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