Senegal, a country in West Africa, is making huge gains in achieving Millennium Development Goal Number Five A and B, a far cry in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
MDG A and B deals with reducing maternal mortality and increasing access to contraceptives by 2015.
This is thanks to a deliberate move by the Abdoulaye Wade-led government to deliberately encourage family planning in state-run hospitals and clinics as part of its effort to improve maternal health.
Key to achieving success in reproductive health was changing the attitude of the mainly Muslim and patriarchic communities in embracing family planning.
As a result and unlike in the past, Senegalese families are spacing their children and having fewer children through family planning.
Opening the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal, President Wade said the latest Demographic and Health Survey suggests that Senegal has made great strides in achieving maternal health.
In the 1990s, a Senegalese woman, like her Ugandan counterpart, had 6.7 children in her reproductive cycle but by 2010 the fertility rate has gone down to 4.8. In the capital Dakar, the fertility rate is at 3.9 children.
Wade told the over 2,000 delegates that improved family planning intake and reproductive health actually have national economic benefits.
The president said improvement in the health of the people should be accompanied by improved education and the general well-being of the people.
President Wade announced an increase of funding specifically for family planning from 400 to 500 Senegalese Franc, equivalent to about 4.5 billion Uganda Shillings.
While in Uganda such money would be described as peanuts by those in authority, in Senegal it is doing wonders thanks to prudent implementation and accountability.
Senegal is also seeing a unique involvement of religious leaders in promoting family planning. Both the Catholic and Muslim leaders work together to issue updated religious guidelines on family planning.
They stress the fact that neither the Bible nor the Koran are against spacing of births.
Although on the whole Senegal is on the right track compared to most Sub-Saharan Africa, there are also pockets where people are not ready to change their attitude.