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IRIN Reports On Community's Efforts To Increase Access To Contraceptives, Improve Family Planning In Madagascar

IRIN reports on one community’s efforts to increase access to contraceptives and help provide information on family planning in Madagascar. The news service highlights efforts by women in Antalaha, Madagascar, who formed an association called Femmes Interessee au Development de Antalaha (FIDA). The association uses World Bank funding to run a center that provides information and support to teenage girls, with a focus on preventing early pregnancy; broadcasts “a radio program aimed at educating women about their reproductive health and legal rights; … disseminates information on how to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)”; and works with husbands to change “negative attitudes towards family planning, [which] were preventing even those women who could get contraceptives from their local clinic from using them,” according to IRIN.

Madagascar is “one of 12 developing countries receiving support to improve access to contraceptives through the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security, and has been described as a success story,” IRIN notes. “According to UNFPA, the percentage of women using contraceptives rose by 11 percent between 2004 and 2009 to reach 29 percent,” the news service writes, adding, “Despite this increase, birth control is still not always available, even in urban areas, and one in four births occurs less than 24 months after the preceding one” (10/12).