|Patterns, trends, and factors associated with contraceptive use among adolescent girls in Zambia (1996 to 2014): a multilevel analysis|
||Mumbi Chola, Khumbulani Hlongwana, and Themba G. Ginindza
||BMC Women's Health, 20(Article number: 185); DOI: 10.1186/s12905-020-01050-1
Despite high levels of pregnancy and childbearing among adolescents in Africa, contraceptive use remains low. Examining variations in contraceptive use among adolescent girls is vital for informing programs to improve contraceptive utilisation among this segment of the population. This study aimed to examine the patterns, trends, and factors associated with contraceptive use among adolescents in Zambia over the period 1996–2014.
The study involved an analysis of data from 1996, 2001/2, 2007 and 2013/14 Zambia Demographic and Health Surveys focusing on adolescent girls aged 15–19?years. Analysis entailed descriptive statistics and estimation of multilevel logistic regression models examining variations in contraceptive use among adolescent girls over time. Estimates with p-values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results showed that contraceptive use remains low and ranged from 7.6% in 1996 to 10.9% in 2013/14, reflecting a change of 3.3 percentage points over 18?years. Over the 18?years, contraceptive use was significantly associated with age, level of education, and marital status. Older adolescent girls and those with higher levels of education were significantly more likely to use contraception compared to younger ones and those with lower levels of education. Although initially significant (AOR 0.556, 95% CI 0.317, 0.974 in 1996), rural-urban differences disappeared between 2001/2 and 2007 but re-emerged in 2013/14 (AOR 0.654, 95% CI 0.499, 0.859). Across all survey years, adolescents who were married or living with a partner were significantly more likely to use contraceptives compared to those who were not married.
The findings suggest the need for targeted interventions to improve contraceptive use among sexually active adolescent girls in the country in general, and those who are disadvantaged in particular.