Family planning use remains low in some regions

Contraceptive prevalence rate in sub-Saharan Africa by sub-region, 1980 to 2010

Despite global successes in providing family planning, there is still a long way to go before we achieve universal access. 

Geographical variations in contraceptive use

While contraceptive use has increased dramatically in Asia, Latin America and developed countries in recent years, it remains low in sub-Saharan Africa, despite recent growth.
Within sub-Saharan Africa, there are huge variations between the sub-regions. Southern Africa is doing particularly well in terms of expanding access to voluntary family planning, with modern contraceptive use now close to 60%. In contrast, middle and western Africa are both seeing slower progress.

Expanding access

We are expanding rapidly to address unmet need for family planning in these regions, with expanding programmes in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and a new programme established in Senegal in 2011.
Although uptake is still very low, eastern Africa has seen a steady increase in contraceptive use since 1980 – from 5.6% in 1980 to 23.7% in 2010.1 We have made a significant contribution to this, as is demonstrated in the chart above. 
We have seen growth in the number of family planning users in eastern Africa2 and the 
growth in the number of those that were MSI clients. By 2011, 15% of all modern method users in eastern Africa were MSI clients. 

Data sources 

1United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. World
Contraceptive Use 2011. Wallchart (
2Eastern Africa is comprised of: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Réunion, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.