Signs of Progress

Women in 8 sub-Saharan African countries are using modern contraception at a rate outpacing projections, a new study published in the Lancet Global Health shows.
 
In 9 settings in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, and Uganda, the average annual rate of change in modern contraceptive prevalence was 1.92%—exceeding 2012’s 1.4% goal to give an additional 120 million women access to contraception by 2020.
 
The study included just 8 of the 69 countries under that goal, acknowledge the authors, led by Saifuddin Ahmed of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. But, it provides lessons for other countries, and reinforces the importance of examining stubborn societal and personal barriers to greater coverage, note Luis Bahamondes and Alessandra Peloggia of Brazil’s University of Campinas Faculty of Medical Sciences in a companion comment.

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