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    090787

    PROFAMILIA's proven ability to bring family planning to the Dominican Republic.

    IPPF / WHR FORUM. 1993 May; 9(1):20-1.

    The Dominican Association for Family Welfare (PROFAMILIA), an affiliate of IPPF, was the first organization to provide family planning services in the Dominican Republic. In 1966, the time of PROFAMILIA's creation, the total fertility rate (TFR) was 7.5. Shortly after PROFAMILIA's inception, the TFR began its steady decline. The 1991 Demographic and Health Survey (ENDESA-91) shows that the TFR has fallen to 3.3. PROFAMILIA persuaded the Dominican Republic's government to provide full-scale family planning services. In 1968 the government set up the National Council on Population and the Family (CONAPOFA) within the Ministry of Public Health and Social Services to provide family planning services. It now provides family planning services through more than 500 health centers. The Dominican Family Planning Association, set up in 1986, provides family planning services in the Federal District and the easternmost provinces. These family planning organizations have reduced the unmet demand for family planning in the Dominican Republic to 17%, essentially the same levels as in developed countries. Even though mean family size is 3.3, ideal family size is 2, indicating a trend toward smaller families. The adolescent pregnancy rate is 13% in urban areas and 27% in rural areas. 13.3% of adolescents in a union use modern contraceptives, while only 3% of those not in a union do. 25.4% of women of childbearing age, 38.5% of women in a union, and 65.4% of 40-44 year old women depend on sterilization. Only women less than 29 years old significantly use oral contraceptives. The family planning programs need to expand family planning messages to adolescents, particularly those not in a union. PROFAMILIA still implements new approaches to expand services, such as health promotion via community-based services. CONAPOFA has since implemented such a program. ENDESA-91 demonstrates what can be accomplished when an effective government family planning program and a private organization work together.
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