Africa: The New Family Planning Frontier

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Sub-Saharan Africa will be the family planning frontier of the twenty-first century. Fertility levels and population growth rates are still high, and family planning programs suited to the region are still being developed. Nevertheless, by the end of the twentieth century, fertility transition was under way in Southern Africa and a few countries elsewhere. Successful regional family planning in the twenty-first century will depend upon stronger political leadership, the development of family planning programs that meet the needs of all segments of society and not only currently married women, assistance to the market, and a recognition of the central importance of hormonal methods, especially injectables. Problems include stagnation in economic growth and in child mortality decline, as well as the persistence of the AIDS epidemic.

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