Overcoming Family Planning Challenges in Africa: Toward Meeting Unmet Need and Scaling Up Service Delivery

by Andrzej Kulczycki
African Journal of Reproductive Health, March 2018; 22 (1):9

11 pp. 577 kB

Unmet need refers to the percentage of sexually active, fecund women who want no more children or to postpone having their next child, but who are not using contraception. It is an important indicator used for tracking progress, measured using an algorithm based on a set of standardized survey questions. Traditional method users tend to have high failure rates and are considered to have an unmet need for a more effective method, lowering the percentage of demand for family planning satisfied with modern contraceptive methods. Gaps in meeting women‘s needs persist especially among the poor, young, less educated and underserved with high fertility preferences. The level of unmet need is highest (21%) in sub-Saharan Africa and is 25% or higher in middle and western Africa, where the values estimated for 2010 were nearly identical to those in 1990.

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