Access to Birth Control in Developing Countries – A Complex and Crucial Issue

Overpopulation in developing nations is a know problem. It leads to many dire social and health related problems including poverty, hunger, high child and infant mortality rates, and a decline in life expectancy. It also harms the environment, causing atmospheric damage and undue strain on resources. One of the tools used to control this issue is contraception. However, access to birth control in developing nations has always been a controversial subject driven by a couple of factors.

Firstly, according to research there are up to 49 million unintended pregnancies in Africa and Asia each year. Roughly 21 million of them result in abortions. Still, most women either choose not to use preventative birth control or do not have access to safe birth control products. Secondly, access to birth control is heavily controlled and influenced by religious organizations which further impedes adoption of use. A study released by the Guttmacher Institute noted that some of the primary reasons that women in developing countries, particularly in Africa, do not use contraception include health fears, opposition from partners, and lack of education or information.

Birth Control in Nigeria: A Case Study of Government Envolvement

Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa. Its population is estimated to grow by over 240 million by 2050. Nigerian President
Goodluck Jonathan, has recently declared his support for increased availability of birth control while remaining sensitive to religious groups. Nigerians are a religious people, he explains, which makes this issue a very sensitive one, because children are perceived as god’s gift.

His careful public stand on the issues was enough to invoke a wide debate among local politicians, journalists and citizens all stating different opinions regarding contraception and access to it. Among the arguments that arose were issues of quality of life, financial ability, and free choice. While the voices and opinions were many, the fact that President Jonathan participated in the debate clearly raised awareness to the topic and its importance.

Solutions and Accurate Monitoring

Awareness and government support are undeniably crucial to solving this problem, but a significant issue remains: the lack of data about population trends in developing nations. Accurate information about the population could enable a better understanding of population growth, current and future challenges, and the efficacy of attempted solutions.

To solve this problem, NIP Global offers advanced modular secure packages that help developing nations create and maintain population databases with reliable information about births and deaths, marriage and divorce, immigration, citizenship and more. By monitoring and analyzing population trends, governments can provide better access to social, education and healthcare services, including birth control products and information.

While the debate for or against population control remains polarized, having the correct data about population growth in developing nations is key to developing better living conditions in the future.