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Slowing the stork: better health for women through family planning

Anthony R. Measham and Roger W. Rochat

No 66, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: Each year 500,000 women die from causes related to pregnancy - 99 percent of them in developing countries. While many of those pregnancies are unwanted and could have been prevented by family planning, only a minority of developing country couples use effective contraceptive methods. For some women, pregnancy represents a major health risk. Others, of lower risk, do not want any more children. This paper discusses the factors which determine women's use of contraceptives, and how family planning programs reach the large numbers of women at risk from further pregnancies. The most successful family planning policies offer women a variety of contraceptive methods tailored to specific age groups and educational levels. Much program experience suggests that family planning is one of, if not the most cost-effective means of averting maternal deaths. The savings generated by family planning services could be invested in saving the lives and health of women who do want to have more children.

Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Adolescent Health; Reproductive Health; Early Child and Children's Health; Gender and Health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1988-07-31
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