Adding It Up: The Costs and Benefits of Reproductive Health Interventions in Cameroon
Michael Vlassoff, Guttmacher Institute
Akinrinola Bankole, Guttmacher Institute
Gervais Beninguisse, Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques (IFORD)
Firmin Zinvi, Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques (IFORD)
Floriane Kamgaing, Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques (IFORD)
Jenna Jerman, Guttmacher Institute
Reducing Cameroon’s unintended pregnancy levels would improve maternal and infant health by exposing women less frequently to the hazards of pregnancy and child-bearing, by reducing the instances of unsafe abortion, and by reducing the pressure on the health infrastructure. However contraceptive use in Cameroon is still low. The country’s level of unmet need for contraception among women of reproductive ages is estimated at 24%. In this paper we apply the techniques of the Adding It Up reports to the Cameroon context to estimate the costs to the country in investing in contraceptive services. We then estimate the benefits to Cameroon in terms of reduced maternal and infant mortality, reduced morbidity, reduced numbers of unsafe abortion, and importantly reduced costs to the health system. The paper concludes with suggestions for policy and program actions to further encourage the Cameroon government and donor agencies to invest in family planning.