Analysis, Commentary Examine Access To, Unmet Need For Contraceptives

In an analysis published online in the Lancet, researchers from the National University of Singapore and the U.N. Population Division “estimated and projected indicators of contraceptive prevalence and unmet need for family planning from 1990 to 2015,” according to the paper’s abstract. Based on their data and methodology, the researchers note, “Worldwide, contraceptive prevalence increased from 54.8 percent (95 percent uncertainty interval 52.3-57.1) in 1990, to 63.3 percent (60.4-66.0) in 2010, and unmet need for family planning decreased from 15.4 percent (14.1-16.9) in 1990, to 12.3 percent (10.9-13.9) in 2010.” However, “[t]he absolute number of married women who either use contraception or who have an unmet need for family planning is projected to grow from 900 million (876-922 million) in 2010 to 962 million (927-992 million) in 2015, and will increase in most developing countries,” they state, concluding “that increased investment is necessary to meet demand for contraceptive methods and improve reproductive health worldwide” (Alkema et al., 3/12). An accompanying commentary states the study’s “estimates support the call at the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning for a focused effort to bring contraception to people in countries where its use is still confined to a minority” (Cleland/Shah, 3/12).

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