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22    In Sub-Saharan Africa, where maternal mortality is high, only 22 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 were using some form of contraception.

Millennium Development Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Target 5B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health


Indicator 5.3: Contraceptive prevalence rate


By 2008, more than half of all women aged 15 to 49 who were married or in a union were using some form of contraception in all but two regions—Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania. However, progress slowed from 2000 to 2008 in almost all regions. Women in Sub-Saharan Africa—where maternal mortality is high and access to skilled care during pregnancy and at childbirth is limited—continue to have the lowest level of contraceptive prevalence (22 per cent), with little progress reported since 2000.

As the number of women of reproductive age in developing regions continues to rise, increasing by nearly 50 per cent since 1990, family planning programmes and healthcare services need to invest more, to simply keep pace with the growing number of women wishing to use contraception.


Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2011

Reference:, pp. 32-33