Summary of Study Session 1
In Study Session 1, you have learned that:
- Uncontrolled fertility is when an individual or couple fails to plan their future family size and match it with their family-level economy. Fertility is often higher in developing countries, with women in poorer countries, like Africa, tending to have more children in their lifetime. It is estimated that, on average, African women have 5.6 live births during their reproductive period.
- An African woman’s chances of dying from pregnancy-related causes averages 900 per 100,000 live births. In contrast, the risk of maternal death in industrialised nations averages 27 per 100,000 live births. In Ethiopia, for instance, an average of 673 women per 100,000 live births die from pregnancy-related causes.
- Population size is a measurement of existing population at any point of time, while the growth rate tells us what is happening to the population in terms of it growing, shrinking, or remaining constant.
- In countries where the fertility rate is higher than the death rate there will be fast population growth, and as a population grows rapidly the need for more food, more schools, more jobs and more health services will also grow.
- Rapid population growth, low agricultural production, and destruction of the environment are common to most of the sub-Saharan African countries, including Ethiopia.
- As a result of uncontrolled population growth in Ethiopia, population density has been increasing rapidly for the last 30‒40 years, and it is projected that the population density will be 166 people per square kilometre by 2050.
- Family planning is the decision-making process by couples together, or individually, on the number of offspring that they would like to have in their lifetime, and how often to do so.
- Family planning helps mothers avoid pregnancy when they are vulnerable because of their younger or older age, or when the desired number of children has been achieved. It can also help mothers space their children, so that they maintain good health and energy.
- Family planning also helps mothers prevent unwanted pregnancy so and so avoid abortion and its consequences.
- Modern family planning services in Ethiopia first started in 1966, led by the FGAE. The Ministry of Health designed new outlets for family planning services in the form of community-based distribution, and social marketing and work-based services, in addition to the pre-existing facility-based and outreach family planning services.