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Demand For Family Planning Services Growing In Malawi Despite Challenges

IRIN examines access to family planning services in Malawi, where women have an average of 5.8 children and the population is expected to grow from 15 million in 2010 to 50 million in 2050, according to the news service. A study (.pdf) by the African Institute for Development Policy and Population Action International “warn[s] that rapid population growth is increasing food insecurity, environmental degradation and poverty levels,” the news service notes. In addition, Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with approximately “800 Malawian women [dying] every day from labor- or pregnancy-related problems, according to the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health (GLC),” IRIN writes.

Despite these challenges and decreasing funding for family planning worldwide, President Joyce Banda last year launched a program aimed at achieving universal access to reproductive health services, and USAID, in a recent study, “found that the percentage of Malawian women and their partners using contraception rose from seven percent in 1992 to 42 percent in 2010,” according to the news service. IRIN also discusses access to different forms of contraception (1/31).