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Stud Fam Plann. 1995 May-Jun;26(3):121-39.

The Navrongo Community Health and Family Planning Project.

Author information

1
Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana.

Abstract

In 1994, an experiment was launched by the Navrongo Health Research Centre that will test the demographic impact of community health and family planning services in a rural, traditional area of northern Ghana. While exhaustive social research has been directed to clarifying societal constraints to reproductive change, relatively little is known about how African cultural characteristics can be a resource to family planning programs. This study will clarify ways in which cultural resources of a traditional African society can be used in efforts to foster reproductive change. This article reviews characteristics of the study population, the design of the Navrongo experiment, and the research plan. The Navrongo Project will be the first African experimental trial of the demographic impact of family planning.

PIP:

The persistence of high fertility in sub-Saharan Africa has been investigated extensively over the past decade. While the social forces which sustain high fertility and impede family planning programs are well understood, appropriate policy responses to the circumstances, however, continue to be debated. Relatively little is known about how African cultural characteristics can be a resource to family planning programs. An experiment was launched in 1994 by the Navrongo Health Research Center to test the demographic impact of community health and family planning services in a rural, traditional area of northern Ghana. The study will clarify ways in which cultural resources of a traditional African society can be used to foster reproductive change. A field station has been established where a partnership was developed between health professionals and traditional village groups for designing culturally sensitive approaches to family planning services. The experiment, to be conducted by the Navrongo Health Research Center (NHRC), a research station of the Ghanaian Ministry of Health, will appraise the demographic impact of the program and foster policy based upon the lessons learned. The population monitored by the NHRC research system receives all of its allopathic health care and contraceptive services from primary health care programs of the Ministry of Health. The Ministry has established close collaboration between the District Health Management Team which directs the program and the research team of the NHRC. This collaborative arrangement permits flexibility in designing field operations so that varying work routines, staffing patterns, or the intensity of services can be tailored to the requirements of research protocols. Collaboration between service providers and researchers makes the Navrongo project uniquely suited for a study of the demographic role of family planning. This article reviews characteristics of the study population, the design of the Navrongo experiment, and the research plan. The Navrongo project will be the first African experimental trial of the demographic impact of family planning.

PMID:
7570763
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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