|The determinants of early childbearing by disability status in Uganda: an analysis of demographic and health survey data|
||Betty Kwagala, Stephen Ojiambo Wandera
||Pan African Medical Journal, Volume 40, issue 222; DOI:10.11604/pamj.2021.40.222.25348]
||Introduction: females with disabilities experience multiple sexual and reproductive challenges that can result in teenage pregnancy and motherhood. This study assessed the determinants of early childbearing among women by disability status.
Methods: the study used the 2016 Uganda demographic and health survey data, analyzing a weighted sample of 18,506 women of reproductive age. We used frequency distributions to describe respondents´ characteristics, chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regressions to establish the determinants of early childbearing.
Results: early childbearing is higher among women with disabilities. The determinants of early childbearing among women with disabilities were marital status, religion, education, and occupation. The odds of early childbearing were higher among ever married compared with never married women (aOR=5.35; 95% CI: 2.42-11.84, p=0.000); women who engaged in sales and services compared with those that did not work (aOR=2.73; 95% CI: 1.36-5.50, p=0.005); and smaller religious faiths compared with protestants (aOR=2.70; 95% CI: 1.04-1.34, p=0.047). The odds reduced with advancement in education. Region, attitude towards violence and knowledge of the ovulatory cycle, though associated with early childbearing for nondisabled women were not significant for women with disabilities.
Conclusion: the lack of formal education and early marriages increased the odds of early childbearing for all women. Efforts to address early childbearing especially for women with disabilities should consider advancing women´s education; and preventive measures targeting women of smaller religious faiths, stressing the dangers of early sex and marriages. The measures should target women with disabilities irrespective of attitudes towards violence, knowledge concerning fertility, and region.