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Improved Access To Family Planning In Africa Will Lead To Economic Development

Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation writes in an opinion piece in Nigeria’s Vanguard, “My top priority as a co-chair of the foundation I run with my husband is making sure that all families have access to safe and effective contraception tools that empower them to make a decision about what’s best for them and their family. And that means encouraging aid donors and governments here in Nigeria and across Africa to make family planning a priority.” Improved access to modern methods of contraception and child spacing would save millions of lives, “[b]ut family planning doesn’t just save lives; it also makes life better for families and communities, becoming a key driver of economic development,” Gates continues.

“When families in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa are given the opportunity to make [family planning] decisions, it will contribute to a virtuous cycle of development in many African communities,” Gates writes, concluding, “A relatively small and extremely cost-effective investment will help families bring every good thing to their children. It is time for governments to make that investment” (4/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.