East Africa faces considerable challenges in family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH). The region has countries with the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with many reporting over 500 deaths per 100,000 live births. The region also shows slow contraceptive use (with a regional average of 20%). Average family size is high and most women have between five and six children in their lifetime. As a result of a large proportion of the target population having unmet needs in family planning, many unintended pregnancies and unsafe deliveries impeded progress in meeting Millennium Development and FP/RH goals.
In spite of these challenges, several countries are showing progress. For example, the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) increased from 12% (2006) to 56% (current year) in Rwanda as a result of community-based service delivery, initiation of a national health insurance scheme, and a high level of political commitment.
The USAID/East Africa (USAID/EA) regional FP/RH program supports the region to increase access to quality information and services through:
• Promoting advocacy, policy review and best practices to ensure quality FP/RH services
• Strengthening the capacity of African institutions to improve the quality of FP/RH services
• Delivering FP/RH services to vulnerable and marginalized populations, and in post-conflict situations
• Supporting FP/RH service integration with other programs including HIV/AIDS and Maternal and Child
• Providing technical support to USAID’s bilateral missions and limited presence countries (Burundi,
Djibouti and Somalia) to increase access to family planning.
Last updated: October 30, 2013