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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Johns Hopkins: Progress in Family Planning in Africa Accelerating

A new study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that women in eight sub-Saharan African countries are gaining access to and using modern contraception at a faster rate than previously projected. This rate is well ahead of benchmark goals designed to give access to family planning services to an additional 120 million women in 69 of the world’s poorest countries by 2020.

The researchers found improved average annual growth rates of change in the modern contraceptive prevalence rate, an important metric that measures contraception use by women. For all women in the study, the average annual rate of change was 1.92 percent, with the average rate of change for married women even higher at 2.25 percent. Both numbers exceed the 1.4 percent benchmark set at the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning. This 1.4 percent benchmark is considered ambitious because it is substantially higher than the historical rate of annual increase.

The study was published online May 17 in The Lancet Global Health.

The family planning community created the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative at the 2012 London Summit. This study examined post-London Summit trends of modern contraceptive prevalence rates in nine settings in eight sub-Saharan African countries – Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and Uganda.

Dr. Saifuddin Ahmed, professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Population, Family and Reproductive health, was the study lead. Dr. Ahmed is also a senior technical adviser at the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School.