Africas infertility rate in the spotlight

Africas highest fertility rate in the world is routinely seen as problematic, yet its infertility rate, also the highest globally, gets scant attention in spite of the huge consequent risk of HIV infection.


Today the Constitutional Court handed down a decision in Doctors for Life International v Speaker of the National Assembly and others. This case is about a constitutional challenge launched against four Bills, three of which have now become Acts. Doctors for life contended that Parliament had failed in its duties to facilitate public participation when it passed the Bills.

Unexpected and unwanted pregnancies in women on ART highlights family planning gap

A number of antitroviral treatment (ART) programmes supported by the US have observed a large number of unexpected pregnancies in women on ART, according to reports made at the 2006 PEPFAR Implementers meeting held in June in Durban, South Africa. According to one report, the results were disastrous for some women on ART in Uganda, who did not want any more children. As a result, teams have concluded that PEPFAR may need to invest more in supporting family planning services in these countries.

Mild Maternal Stress May Actually Help Children Mature

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have learned that, contrary to popular belief, mild to moderate levels of maternal psychological stress during pregnancy may actually enhance fetal maturation.

Report: 8M with birth defects each year

WASHINGTON - About 8 million children worldwide are born every year with serious birth defects, many of them dying before age 5 in a toll largely hidden from view, the March of Dimes says. Most birth defects occur in poor countries, where babies can languish with problems easily fixed or even prevented in wealthier nations, according to research released Monday by the organization. But the researchers said some innovative programs in Iran and Chile show that effective preventions don't have to be costly.

Estimation of fertility from the 2001 South Africa Census data

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Fertility in South Africa has been falling for almost four decades. The 2001 South Africa Census offers the opportunity to reflect on this decline, and to assess the trajectory and patterns of fertility in the country, among its population groups and in its provinces. Analysis of the data in the 2001 census shows that fertility among all four main population groups continues to fall, and that the national level of fertility is now below three children per woman. The rate of decline indicated by the estimated levels of fertility is a continuation of the long trend of gradually declining fertility. The 2001 census was the second conducted in a postapartheid South Africa. The first, which was conducted in 1996, is regarded as the most reliable and accurate enumeration of the South African population since that in 1970. The comparison of fertility levels and trends estimated from these two post-apartheid censuses provides valuable checks and comparisons that further enhance our understanding of fertility dynamics in the country.