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New USAID grant helps Georgetown meet unmet family planning needs worldwide
Date:10/1/2007

Washington, D.C. Building upon two decades of developing highly effective, easy-to-use fertility awareness-based methods of family planning and introducing them worldwide, the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University Medical Center has been awarded a five-year, $38 million grant by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand access to these methods and ensure their sustainability in developing countries. USAID has been funding the Institute since 1985.

IRH is an international leader in the development of fertility awareness-based methods of family planning, also known as natural family planning. The Institute conducts research, builds service-delivery capacity, and works with a wide range of local partners in 28 countries, including the United States.

More than 500,000 women worldwide, including 50,000 in the U.S., now use Institute developed family planning methods. These methods include the Standard Days Method (95 percent effective) and the Two Day Method (96 percent effective) as well as the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (98 percent effective). With the new USAID support, an additional 2.5 million women in Asia and Africa will be exposed to the Georgetown methods, according to Victoria Jennings, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Reproductive Health and principal investigator on the grant. Jennings is a professor of obstetrics & gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

This funding from USAID gives Georgetown University a wonderful opportunity to continue to help reduce the unmet need for family planning in developing countries. Millions of women currently dont use any form of family planning although they have no wish to become pregnant. Many women want a way to control fertility that doesnt involve medications or devices that might affect their health, said Jennings. They most often do this for personal preferences, though some are attracted to these methods for religio
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Contact: Becky Wexler
rjw43@georgetown.edu
202-687-5100
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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