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Reproductive and Birth Outcomes in Haiti Before and After the 2010 Earthquake
Authors: Emily W. Harville, and Mai Do
Source: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 10(1):59-66. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2015.69.
Topic(s): Birth weight
Unintended pregnancy
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
Published: FEB 2016
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the relationship between exposure to the 2010 Haiti earthquake and pregnancy wantedness, interpregnancy interval, and birth weight. METHODS: From the nationally representative Haiti 2012 Demographic and Health Survey, information on "size of child at birth" (too small or not) was available for 7280 singleton births in the previous 5 years, whereas information on birth weight was available for 1607 births. Pregnancy wantedness, short (<1 year) interpregnancy interval, and maternal-reported birth weight were compared before and after the earthquake and by level of damage. Multiple logistic regression and linear regression analyses were conducted. RESULTS: Post-earthquake births were less likely to be wanted and more likely to be born after a short interpregnancy interval. Earthquake exposure was associated with increased likelihood of a child being born too small: timing of birth (after earthquake vs. before earthquake, adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12-1.45), region (hardest-hit vs. rest of country; aOR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.14- 1.80), and house damage (aOR: 1.27 95% CI: 1.02-1.58). Mean birth weight was 150 to 300 g lower in those exposed to the earthquake. CONCLUSIONS: Experience with the earthquake was associated with worse reproductive and birth outcomes, which underscores the need to provide reproductive health services as part of relief efforts. KEYWORDS: birth weight; developing country; disaster; pregnancy; unwanted