Family planning needed in African war zones

A SURVEY of women in zones of armed conflict has revealed major gaps in the provision of family planning services.

Women across Sudan, northern Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo were questioned and 12–35% said they did not want any more children, while 30–40% ruled out pregnancy for two years.

Despite this, use of modern contraception was “low” – less than 4% in most areas and rising to around 14% where family planning services existed but may be disrupted by the fighting.

“It is vitally important that family planning services are made available for conflict-affected men and women as part of strengthening local health services and aid packages,” researchers wrote.

Confl Health 2011; in press