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Twenty-five years ago, in 1991, family planning services in the UK were under threat due to turmoil in the National Health Service (NHS). However, opportunities were used for proactive intervention. Besides official development assistance, there was substantial involvement of practitioners overseas. Twenty-five years later, in 2016, indicators are being identified for international monitoring of progress in sexual and reproductive health (SRH). This specialty features prominently among the targets for health and gender goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as adopted at the United Nations (UN) in September 2015, which will guide priorities for international development over the next 15 years.
In 1991, a cursory glance at the contents of this journal could easily have brought to mind the comment by Voltaire that the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire. Despite its title, The British Journal of Family Planning was neither limited to a British perspective, nor a journal in the traditional academic sense, nor confined to family planning. With health issues knowing no geographical borders, numerous topics were addressed for their relevance much beyond Britain. Being the journal of the National Association of Family Planning Doctors (NAFPD), it served as its mouthpiece, with columns such as ‘Minutes of the Annual General Meeting’ and ‘From the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Committee’, in addition to rubrics entitled ‘Meetings and Courses’ and ‘News and Views’ that were a relic of its earlier life as a newsletter. Finally, its contents addressed family planning in the much broader context of SRH. From its humble beginnings as a newsletter, it had undergone major changes to be “on a sounder financial footing”, printed in an A4 format from April 1991 and “The Journal for all interested in reproductive health care” as stated beneath the logo on the cover page.1
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