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PMC Articles Tagged 'Africa'

Growing Pains: Uganda Population Bomb Ticking

October 8th, 2012 by PMC | Add a Comment

By Robert Madoi

October 4, 2012


Uganda enters its next 50 years of self-rule with its reputation as a demographic renegade well and truly intact, thanks to a mindboggling fertility rate (the average number of children a woman can have in her lifetime), which the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) put at 6.2 in 2011.

One of the highest in the world, Uganda’s fertility rate is the stand-out catalyst to the Malthusian disaster on which the country awkwardly squats. The narrative would have been different, demographers contend, had President Museveni taken a lead role in advocating smaller families.

Instead, between 1995 and 2006, when fertility rates in notoriously childbirth-happy sub-Saharan Africa were on a down slope, Uganda’s fecundity was stalling at 6.7 in the face of Museveni’s message that vociferously hailed a large population.

Currently, the average fertility rate for sub-Saharan African countries stands at 4.64 – a high statistic by any measure, but one which would have been a bit lower were it not for the shenanigans of entities like Uganda. Not that there haven’t been any positive demographic strides in Uganda.

Between 2006 and 2011, the country was rattled out of its stall with the fertility rate falling from 6.7 to 6.2. The UDHS posits that this fall was largely because of a paradigm shift in the apprehension of all things demographic by urbanites whose fertility fell steeply from 5.0 in 1995 to 3.8 in 2011.

Whether the predisposition of Ugandan urbanites to smaller families (remember 3.8 is still some way off the 2.1 replacement rate of fertility) will haul Uganda out of a Malthusian abyss and place it on a right path is anyone’s guess.

To read the full article, click here: http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21353:growing-pains-uganda-population-bomb-ticking&catid=57:feature&Itemid=69

Can This Be Pro-Life?

November 3rd, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa.

Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

The saga also spotlights a clear difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Senator Obama supports U.N.-led efforts to promote family planning; Senator McCain stands with President Bush in opposing certain crucial efforts to help women reduce unwanted pregnancies in Africa and Asia.

For full article, visit:

Africa: Delusions will not make ‘poverty history’

October 21st, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Brian McGavin, a UK-based writer and analyst, for this article about Africa.
Delusions Will Not Make ‘Poverty History’ (Word doc., 42 KB)

Nature laid waste: The destruction of Africa

October 20th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Marian Starkey for this article from The Independent.

It was long shrouded in mystery, called “the Dark Continent” by Europeans in awe of its massive size and impenetrable depths. Then its wondrous natural riches were revealed to the world. Now a third image of Africa and its environment is being laid before us – one of destruction on a vast and disturbing scale.

Using “before and after” satellite photos, taken in all 53 countries, UN geographers have constructed an African atlas of environmental change over the past four decades – the vast majority of it for the worse.

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Make Educating Girls a Priority

June 20th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Don Collins for this editorial.

A GIRL BORN IN SOUTH ASIA or sub-Saharan Africa faces a cruel double burden. She will grow up in a region beset by poverty, disease, war or famine. She will also confront these challenges with the added disadvantage of being female.

Although more attention is being given to gender issues, inequality persists in every culture, country and continent. A new study shows that eliminating this disparity is an investment with high payoffs.

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PMC Featured in Soul Beat

June 12th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Participatory Assessment of Gugar Goge, an Entertainment-Education: A Qualitative Assessment Report
by Arvind Singhal, Sarah Hurlburt, and Radha Vij

This report documents the results of a participatory assessment exercise conducted in Nigeria to gauge audience reception of Gugar Goge (“Tell It To Me Straight”), an entertainment-education radio soap opera that sought to promote education for girls, the delay of marriage and pregnancies, and the adoption of family planning and maternal health services. The assessment exercise, which used participatory sketching and participatory photography, aimed to assess how frequent listeners engaged with the radio programme, and how they derived personal meanings from its plot, characters, and educational messages.

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Africa’s Greatest Challenge is to Reduce Fertility

May 11th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | 1 Comment

Reducing high population growth was at the top of the international development agenda in the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, successful population programmes were implemented in Asia and Latin America and population growth fell from about 2.5 per cent per year in the 1960s to 1.2 per cent today. By contrast, benign neglect from African leaders and elites translated into late, weak and ineffective programmes and the population growth rate in sub-Saharan Africa has remained about 2.5 per cent per year over the past half century, except in southern Africa.

In part because of the success of the Asian and Latin American programmes, international attention has shifted to other urgent issues, such as the HIV/Aids epidemic, humanitarian crises and good governance. Recent concerns about climate change have further overshadowed the demographic dimensions of African development.

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World Warned on High Food Costs

April 28th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Comments Off

Mr Ban said the trend would hinder progress towards the millennium development goals (MDGs), which aim to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) and other agencies may be forced to ration food aid, he said in a BBC interview.

He said shortages might be eased by a “green revolution” to transform farming methods in Africa.

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Nigeria Program Report on Soul Beat Africa Website

April 19th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Comments Off

Soul Beat Africa has a summary of the study, “Participatory Assessment of Gugar Goge, an Entertainment-Education, A Radio Soap Opera in Nigeria: Qualitative Assessment Report” in the evaluations section of their website, at:

Hormonal Contraception and HIV Prevalence in Four African Countries

April 14th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Comments Off

The HIV seroprevalence among women aged 15-24 years was compared according to their pattern of contraceptive use in four African countries: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Data were derived from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted between 2003 and 2006 on representative samples, totaling 4549 women.

It is indicated that users of depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) have a significantly higher seroprevalence than nonusers [odds ratio (OR)=1.82, 95% CI=1.63-2.03] and higher than users of oral contraceptives and users of traditional methods. The results were confirmed in a multivariate analysis including as controls, age, duration since first intercourse, urban residence, education, number of sexual partners in the last 12 months and marital status.

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