Family planning in conflict zones

Women living in countries experiencing conflict want to limit the number of children they have, but they rarely have access to contraceptives, a new study has found.

According to researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in the US, only between four and 16 percent of women have access to means of birth control.

The researchers looked at married women living in six areas of Sudan, northern Uganda and Congo for the study, asking them their views on family planning.

Some 30 to 40 per cent of the women did not want to have another child in the next two years, but the proportion of women using modern forms of contraception were found to be extremely low.

Lead study author Dr Therese McGinn, associate professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia's Mailman School, said: "It is vitally important that family planning services are made available for conflict-affected men and women as part of strengthening local health services and aid packages."