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Determinants of Unmet Need for Contraception to Space and Limit Births among Various Groups of Currently Married Women in Uganda
Authors: Peter Kisaakye
Source: European Scientific Journal, 9(19); DOI: 10.19044/esj.2013.v9n19p%p
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Unmet need
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2013
Abstract: Introduction: In Uganda, fertility remains high at 6.2 births per woman (UDHS, 2011) and is currently stalling. Contraceptive use is low and women have an unmet need for family planning. The unmet need for family planning is defined as the proportion of married women or those living in consensual unions of reproductive age, presumed to be sexually active, but are not using any method of contraception. These women would either like to postpone the next pregnancy (unmet need for spacing), or do not want any more children (unmet need for limiting), (Westoff 1988). In other words, the concept of unmet need for family planning refers to the discrepancy between individuals’ contraceptive use and their stated fertility intentions. Objective: The study examines the levels of unmet need for contraception in Uganda among various groups of currently married and cohabiting women as well as the determinants of unmet need for contraception among these Ugandan women of ages 15-49 years. Method: The study uses data from the 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS). The data were filtered to yield 5418 women of age 15-49 years old who are currently married or cohabiting. Data analyses were conducted using the statistical software package SPSS. Analyses were done in three-fold to include univariate descriptive statistics, bivariate relationships and multivariate analysis. Result: Women’s age is very significant in determining unmet need particularly for spacing births (OR=0.873, p<0.01). Women with low autonomy are more likely to have had higher unmet need for family planning than women with medium or high autonomy. The odds of having unmet need for spacing and limiting births increase as the number of living children increases. Richest women were about 42% (p<0.01) less likely to have unmet need compared to the poorest women. Women who knew only traditional methods of contraception were 97% more likely to have unmet need for spacing births compared to women who did not know any method. Conclusion: There is need to improve women’s knowledge and access to modern methods of contraception. Lack of knowledge on the modern methods of contraception could explain the high unmet need among currently married women in Uganda. There is also need to provide income generating activities to currently married women in a bid to increase their disposable income which would make them access and utilize family planning services. The strategies could help to bring the high fertility levels down.