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Document Type
Further Analysis
Publication Topic(s)
Family Planning
Mohamed Ayad and Rathavuth Hong and ICF Macro, Calverton, Maryland, USA
Publication Date
September 2009
Publication ID

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Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa and one of the fastest growing countries in the region. The family planning program is among the government's planned goals and strategies for reducing poverty, developing the country and improving the health of the Rwandan population. This study presents levels, trends, and differentials in the use of contraception and estimates the level of unmet need for family planning among women of reproductive age. The use of contraception has increased substantially from 2000 to 2007-08 among women currently in union in Rwanda. From 2005 to 2007-08, contraceptive prevalence increased almost threefold from 13 percent to 36 percent. This increase is predominantly a result of an increase in the use of modern contraceptive methods. Women who are of prime reproductive age, have higher parity, are better educated, and live in urban and more highly developed areas (Kigali), are more likely than other women to use a contraceptive method. In 2007-08, the level of unmet need for family planning among women currently in union has dropped, most likely due to an increase in the use of contraception, particularly for the purpose of limiting births. In addition, the components of unmet need have changed as more women currently need family planning for limiting births than for spacing than in 2000 and 2005. The increase in unmet need for limiting is consistent with an increase in the proportion of women who do not want any more children and with a wider gap between total fertility wanted and actual total fertility. The family planning program in Rwanda has improved significantly in the last few years as a result of hard work, commitment, coordination and partnership between the government and national and international partners. In Rwanda, family planning has been recognized as necessary for poverty reduction and development of the country. Rwanda is on the way to achieving its goal of reducing the population growth rate and improving the health of the population.