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Report of the Expert Group Meeting on Fertility and Mortality Levels, Patterns and Trends in Africa and their Policy Implications.
In: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa [UNECA]. Population dynamics: fertility and mortality in Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UNECA, 1981 May. 1-31. (ST/ECA/SER.A/1; UNFPA PROJ. No. RAF/78/P17)The Expert Group Meeting on Fertility and Mortality Levels, Patterns and Trends in Africa, held in Monrovia late in 1976, examined the various aspects of the interrelationships of fertility and mortality to development process and planning in Africa. Focus in this report of the Expert Group Meeting is on the following: background to fertility and mortality in Africa; usefulness and relevance of existing methodology for collecting and processing and for analyzing fertility and mortality data; fertility and mortality levels and patterns in Africa -- regional studies and country studies; fertility trends and differentials in Africa; mortality trends and differentials; biological and socio-cultural aspects of infertility and sterility; the significance of breast feeding for fertility and mortality; nutrition, disease and mortality in young children; evolution of causes of death and the use of related statistics in mortality studies in Africa; and fertility and mortality in national development. It was suggested that a strategy for development with equity must direct itself, among other things, to the issue of how to monitor progress in the elimination of underdevelopment, poverty, malnutrition, poor health, bad housing, poor education and employment through the use of indicators which measured changes in those variables at the national and local levels. In order to achieve development with equity, it was obvious that demographers and policymakers should ensure that there was regular monitoring of socioeconomic differentials in mortality and morbidity rates since such differentials essentially measured inequality in a society. The following were included among the recommendations made: recognizing that fertility and mortality data for a majority of African countries are now 20 years out of date, efforts should be directed toward collecting and analyzing fertility and mortality data by the use of both direct and indirect methods; and international and national organizations should support country efforts to improve the supply of data and analytical work on census and other existing data.