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Mozambique to introduce family planning services.

Published Article
Law file
Publication Date
November 1980
PMID: 12178319


Mozambique has announced that family planning is to be included in the maternal and child health system now being set up in the country. Explaining the move, Dr. Teresa Araujo, head of family planning in the Ministry of Health, stressed that government policy was to reduce maternal and infant deaths and disease, not to reduce births. Indeed, President Machel has said that Mozambique, with a present population of 10.3 million for an area the size of France and Britain combined, will face a labor shortage in 20 years' time: "The country will need, and be able to sustain, an increasing population". Some 750 nurse-midwives are to be trained to provide ante- and postnatal care, family planning, and care for children up to 5 years, as well as education on health and nutrition. But it is estimated that by 1984, when the 1st of the new mother and infant clinics opens, only 45,000 women will be using family planning - less than 1/10 of the 550,000 women who become pregnant every year. Although family planning will be available free to any woman who asks for it, it will be actively promoted only to women "at risk". Continued division within Frelimo on the issue means however that there has been no public discussion of family planning. The new family planning programme, which is to be funded with a $4 million grant from the UN Fund for Population Activities, will concentrate on IUDs and the pill, but Depo-Provera is to be used experimentally. Sterilization will be available to women over 35, usually only with permission from their husbands. Abortion remains illegal, except on health grounds. (Full text

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