The rapid growth of population and its reduced resources of the island, the Mauritius government adopted, with couple of years ago, a Mauritius family planning program. Its objective was to reduce the rate of reproduction from 2.9 in the ‘60s to 1.1 in the ‘80s. There were numerous and strong combatants of the Mauritius Family Planning Association, including from the religious groups, such as the Family Action (a Catholic group) that formed and promoted some methods that are accepted by Church.
Begging with 1965, the Mauritius Family Planning Association began to be financed by the government. In 1977 the rate of the maternal mortality was of 1.6/1000, which was 15 times higher than in US or Europe. There were 38 deaths from which 23 were caused by the clandestine abortion complications, and the rates of hospitalization caused by the abortion complications were high too.
The maternal mortality that follows the live births at the mother’s home was of 2.7/1000 and the births at hospital were of 1.3. The government’s goal (to reduce the infant mortality to 40/1000 in the ‘80s from 45/1000 in the ‘70s) was reached. The main causes of the prenatal mortality were the pneumonia, diarrhoea, intestinal infection and the prematurity.
2 missions from the World Bank came to the island to advice the authorities on a Mauritius Family Planning program, in 1967, and three years later, the accord with the Population Activities United Nation Fund for the family planning assistance. The Mauritius family planning services became a part of the Ministry of Health’s Maternal Child Health Division, in 1974.
Numerous and various contraceptive means were offered. The Mauritius family planning personnel is a team made of nurses, fieldworkers, promoters, midwives, clinic assistants and physicians. The Mauritius family planning supervises has to check the clinic assistants, the promoters and the fieldworkers in given geographic areas. In 1978, 42 centres of contraceptive distribution, 14 clinics for the family planning and 71 centres for the maternal child health were added to the hospitals and the clinics of the national program.
In order to coordinate the Mauritius Family Planning Association communication activities, a communication committee appeared in 1978. Its name is Family Action and also coordinates the government program. The IEC programs are for the youth still studying but also for adults, all of them receiving advices at primary and secondary levels by one of the three programs on sex education, family life and population.
According to a survey from 1975, 44% of women knew about the IUD, 50% of the condom, 52% of Ogino method and 88% of the pill. 1161 married women (of 1821) said that they hadn’t used methods of contraception and 833 were using methods. The rate of fertility declined to 3.1 in 1978, after it was 5.9 in 1962 and 3.3 in 1972. More, between 1980 and 1981, the crude birthrate had a decline to 25.1/1000 (from 27.9) and also, the mortality rate declined to 6.9/1000, 7.2.