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Summary of Week 2

Summary of the week's learning and key issues in the field of reproductive health from Dr Tanya Marchant.

We have now reached the end of Week 2. We have learned that there are an estimated 75 million unintended pregnancies around the world each year, and that meeting unmet need for modern contraception has the potential to reduce this number by 70% to 22 million. As a result this could help us to avoid 25 million abortions, many of which are unsafe, and 680,000 deaths among women and newborns.

Access to and use of modern methods of contraception has increased worldwide from the 1970s to today although more work still needs to be done, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. 222 million women continue to have unmet need for contraception, and many women who are using contraception experience multiple barriers when trying to access services, often leading to discontinuation or interruption of protection. However, there are success stories. Developments in long-lasting methods help women stay protected for longer, and rapid progress is being made in some countries, such as Ethiopia. We hope you enjoyed the discussion on the situation there.

With its impact on health outcomes across the lifecycle, reproductive health has been a cross cutting subject for learning on this course. In Week 3 we will return to the lifecycle structure, focusing on current issues in maternal health. We look forward to seeing you then.

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Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action

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