DAKAR, SENEGAL (KCBS) – World leaders and health experts are patting themselves on the back after the largest ever global family planning conference, which was held in West Africa. But, Christian Fung leaves the international conference disillusioned. Fung, from San Francisco and based in Ghana, is the U.S. government’s health director for West Africa. He believes it’s time for governments to act – as opposed to simply getting together to talk.
“We are talking about actual peoples’ lives, who are not getting any better, year after year, decades after decades,” Fung suggested. “We look at this region, if we look at data for the last five decades one could make a hard, a difficult argument to say that all the investments have been well returned.”
Other conference attendees suggested the conference in Senegal was inspiring and motivating, acknowledging that the road is long and more must be done.
“We all actually know what the best practices are,” he said of family planning. “Why do we need more meetings about that? What we need is to do it, is to implement them, instead of just sitting around and talking more about it.”
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports from West Africa:
According to Fung, there has been scant improvement in fertility rates, mortality rates, and other indicators across West Africa over the last 50 years. The world has 7 billion people now and the growth rate is accelerating.
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