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Despite modest financial resources, Jordan has invested wisely in the health of its people collaborating successfully with donors and partnering on international initiatives. As a result, it has become one of the most respected healthcare centers in the region and is on track to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals for health. But with one of the world’s fastest growing young populations, and severely limited financial, energy, water, and other natural resources, the Government of Jordan (GOJ) recognizes that population increase hinders further socioeconomic progress. Therefore the GOJ has set the goal of reducing the 2009 fertility rate of 3.8 children per woman to less than 3 children per woman by 2020.
Factors contributing to Jordan’s high fertility and the plateau of contraceptive use (stalled at below 60 percent) include: unmet need for family planning services; persistent cultural preferences for large families and sons; limited access to the labor market for women; and traditional beliefs that many children are needed to support aging parents. Indirect incentives for large families include government subsidies which keep household costs fairly low regardless of the number of children per family.
Today, USAID is the largest donor to Jordan’s health sector. We focus on supporting efforts to manage population growth for sustainable development. Our programs aim to increase the awareness, availability and use of quality health and family planning services. We help increase the number of trained female health professionals. We also continue to help Jordan deliver better quality care throughout the entire public health system and promotes partnerships with the private sector.
Examples of USAID-supported impacts in health and family planning include:
- Decreased maternal, infant, and under-five child mortality rates; 70 percent of all deliveries now take place in public hospitals largely renovated by USAID.
- Introduced family planning services in public hospitals and reached 1.3 million women with health counseling in their homes.
- Renovated and modernized 300 public sector clinics and 25 hospitals and trained staff in best practices.
- Helped create a national health care accreditation agency to improve and ensure quality which had accredited nearly 60 health care facilities across Jordan by 2013.
- Established community health committees in all Ministry of Health directorates, conducting more than a thousand community discussion sessions on women’s health issues, and introducing health education activities at more than a hundred schools across the country.
- Launched the first Arabic-language health web portal with rich, interactive, and collaborative tools (www.Sehetna.com).
Last updated: November 21, 2013