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AFRICA HEALTH. 1993 Mar; 15(3):18-9.Until recently, Africa's fertility rates showed no sign of change in spite of the vast resources committed to decreasing population growth. Now there are early indications of success in parts of Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. In Kenya, between 1984 and 1989, total fertility fell from 7.7 to 6.7, the crude birth rate fell from 52/1000 to 46/1000, and the contraceptive prevalence rate rose from 17% to 27%. Public awareness of modern contraceptive techniques is above 70% in much of Africa, and in Kenya it is up to 90%. Injectable contraceptives are very popular. In October 1992, they were finally licensed by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Injectable contraceptives were first used in Africa in the late 1960s. They were withdrawn from the Bangladesh family planning program, and they were banned in Zimbabwe in 1981. 2 injectable contraceptives administered by deep intra-muscular injection are widely available. Depo medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) or Depo-Provera is normally given in a dose of 150 mg every 12 weeks. Norethindrone enanthate (NETEN) is given in a dose of 200 mg every 8 weeks. DMPA has been used by more than 10 million women. It is repeatedly endorsed by the WHO and the IPPF and has the lowest failure rate of any method of reversible contraception. Side effects include spotting or amenorrhoea, and rarely, menorrhagia. Injectables are suitable for women who are breast feeding, as they may even increase the quantity of breast milk. Norplant, an implanted device developed by the Population Council, releases progestogen at a low, steady rate for 5 years. There is less progestogen in a 5-year Norplant than in the 3-month dose of DMPA. The implant can be removed at any time and fertility is quickly restored. Norplant is becoming increasingly available throughout Africa.