Unmet Need for Family Planning in Developing Countries: Challenges and Solutions
Keywords:Unmet needs, family planning, reproductive health, developing countries.
Adoption of family planning measures reinforces people's right to regulate the number and spacing of their children. The objective of the current review is to assess the personal and social factors associated with unmet need in developing countries and to suggest feasible, cost-effective measures which if implemented strategically will assist in tackling the same. Significant gaps and potential determinants have been identified between women's desire to delay/avoid having children and their actual use of contraception. Expansion of access to contraceptive methods and reduction in the unmet need are the pivotal elements in amelioration of women's reproductive health. Other measures such as strong political will, formulation of specific evidence-based guidelines for encouraging uptake of family planning methods for different population groups/settings, and establishment of health information system to monitor trend of contraceptive usage and for evaluation of initiatives can be implemented in a comprehensive, yet flexible manner for the benefit of the women in the reproductive age group. To conclude, strengthening of family welfare programs and augmenting community awareness is recommended for ensuring improved accessibility and uptake of family planning methods.
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