Family planning is crucial to child survival

Netw Res Triangle Park N C. 1990 Dec;11(4):2.


PIP: The World Summit for Children, which was held at the UN in September 1990, focused international attention on the needs of infants and children. An estimated 50,000 infants and children died during this one-day event. 170 million are expected to die during this decade. Although the 70 world leaders who attended the summit embraced the UN's goals to expand immunizations, reduce infant and maternal mortality, improve family planning, eradicate polio, and ensure a primary education for children everywhere, no funds were allocated. Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), emphasized the importance of family planning to child survival; children born less than two years apart are twice as likely to die as those born after a longer birth interval. A report written by FHI, "Child Survival: The Role of Family Planning," states that family planning, including breastfeeding, is among the most cost-effective ways of reducing infant mortality. Family planning 1) allows very young women, whose infants are prone to higher mortality, to delay childbearing until a later age; 2) allows older and higher parity women, whose infants are at higher risk of dying, to stop having babies; 3) contributes to longer intervals between births; and 4) reduces maternal mortality. Family planning can improve child survival, and child survival can increase the demand for family planning. Although traditional child survival methods are often applauded, and contraception is often criticized, both are necessary to reach the goals of the World Summit for Children.

MeSH terms

  • Congresses as Topic*
  • Demography
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Infant Mortality*
  • International Agencies
  • Longevity
  • Mortality
  • Organizations
  • Population
  • Population Dynamics
  • Survival Rate
  • United Nations*