Role of Reproductive Health Commodity Security on Maternal and Child Health Care in the West African Sub-Region
AbstractBackground: Maternal health is a foremost component of reproductive health requiring global attention on account of the burden of maternal and child mortality. Reducing maternal, infant and child mortality are key targets of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals achievable primarily through an effective and sustained reproductive health commodity security. Objective: To review the relationship between maternal and child health and Reproductive health commodity security with emphasis on contraception; the current state of contraceptive commodity security in some countries in West Africa; and the options for strengthening Reproductive health commodity security. Methods: A Medline search and search of other internet search engines for published studies on contraceptive commodity security and maternal and child health in West Africa was done. The journals were accessed online and from public libraries. Results: Contraceptive prevalence rate in West Africa is generally low. Countries with high contraceptive prevalence rate have low maternal and child mortality. Contraceptive usage has markedly improved in few countries but is generally low compared to other parts of the world. Unmet need for contraception is high. Options for strengthening contraceptive commodity include adopting policies and regulations that support family planning and women's rights; lifting restrictions that affect family planning service providers and prescribing practices, amongst others. Conclusion: The effective adoption of strategies that strengthen reproductive health commodity security would improve family planning services, increase contraceptive prevalence rate, and result in an overall reduction in maternal and child mortality in the West African sub-region. Key Words: Reproductive health commodity security, West Africa Afrimedic Journal 2011;2(1):1-7
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