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Patterns and Determinants of Modern Contraceptive Use in Southern Africa
Authors: P. S. Nair, and K. Navaneetham
Source: Demography India, 44(1&2): 40-49
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: JAN 2015
Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to study the patterns and determinants of contraceptive use in southern Africa. Four countries, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Zambia from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are selected for the study and DHS data were used for all countries except Botswana. For Botswana, the Botswana Family Health Survey data were used. There is tremendous variation in the usage of modern contraceptives among the four countries studied. Botswana ranks first in terms of contraceptive prevalence with 76.7 percent of women using a modern contraceptive in 2007 followed by Zambia, Mozambique and DRC. Contraceptive use is concentrated more in 20-39 age group in all countries. Surprisingly, parity does not have a significant relationship with the use of modern contraception in DRC, whereas the study found negative relationship between parity and modern contraceptive use in Botswana. It seems that younger women in Botswana use contraceptives to prevent infection from HIV. Also, those who want to postpone pregnancy are more likely to accept contraception. In the bivariate analysis, age, parity, education, exposure to media, wealth and place of residence (urban) are positively related to contraception. The logistic regression results show that the age of women, fecundity, desire for children, women’s education, wealth status and place of residence are strong predictors of modern contraception. However, the patterns and magnitude of the effects vary between countries. This implies that the level of development, prevalence of HIV/AIDS and sexual practices may work as mediating factors to form the relationship between the individual (like parity, marital status) and household level characteristics (wealth status) with modern contraception. The study confirms that the improvement in education and eradication of poverty would be crucial policy interventions to increase the level of contraception in southern Africa.