(January 2012) The International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal, in November 2011, brought together over 2,000 researchers and advocates dedicated to improving the lives of women and families through reproductive health, with the ultimate goal of universal access to family planning.

Sarah Boseley, health editor at the UK-newspaper The Guardian, was at the conference. She met local women around Dakar who now have access to family planning services and asked them how this has changed their lives. In this interview, Boseley shares what she learned from these women and the conference, the importance of supporting family planning programs, and what she feels are the world's biggest public health challenges.

Boseley has won a number of awards for her work on HIV/AIDS in Africa, including the One World Media Award (twice) and the European section of the Lorenzo Natali prize, awarded by the European Commission. Her work is available at www.guardian.co.uk/profile/sarahboseley.