Introduction to the Family Planning Module ............................................................... 2
Introduction to the Family Planning
In 1900, the world population was estimated to be about 1.7 billion. By 1999, it had
risen to 6 billion (WHO estimate). Currently, 80% of the world population resides
in less developed countries and this figure will rise to 90% by 2050.
Ethiopia leads sub-Saharan Africa with one of the highest population sizes in
Africa. During the second Ethio-Italian war (1935–1941), the population size of
Ethiopia was estimated to be only about 15 million people; 45 years later it had
reached 41 million (1984 national census). The current Ethiopian population size in
2010 is 76 million and increasing by more than 2 million people annually. If the
current rate of natural increment continues, the population size is estimated to
double every 23 years.
Taking into account this rapid population growth, the Government of Ethiopia
approved the National Population Policy in 1993. Their rationale in formulating
and approving this policy was to harmonise the rate of population growth in
parallel with socio-economic development. In the last decade, in our country, we
have seen ongoing economic development, a factor which has been applauded by
both local and international observers. However, this achievement in economic
growth is far outstripped by the alarming increase in population. What this implies
is that the objectives of the National Population Policy have not yet been met.
Therefore, family planning and the family planning service have a huge
contribution to make in fostering the economic development of this country
through controlling population size, as well as improving the quality of life and
health of individuals and families.
The role of health professionals in balancing population growth with
socioeconomic development is immense and only possible by using family
planning as a principle and different contraceptive methods as tools. As a Health
Extension Practitioner, you can contribute to balanced population growth through
mobilising the community at large. Community mobilisation for the purpose of
improving family planning is possible with understanding and by encouraging
ownership amongst the beneficiaries. To achieve this, both formal and informal
education is important. In short, the three key areas of education, population size
and development impact on one another and need to remain in balance.
In this Module, you will learn about family planning in detail. Beginning with the
wider context of family planning programme management, promotion and
counselling for family planning, you will move on to focus in detail on the different
types of contraceptive methods, and finally touch briefly on the issue of male and
female infertility. The Module is divided into 12 study sessions, and each session
should take you about two hours to study.