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Determinants of obstetric fistula in Afghanistan: an analysis of the Demographic and Health Survey 2015
Authors: Mohammad Omid Yusufi, Erin Fanning, Madhav P Bhatta
Source: International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, DOI:10.1002/ijgo.14080
Topic(s): Obstetric fistula
Women's health
Country: Asia
Published: DEC 2021
Abstract: Objective: Obstetric fistula is a significant but neglected health problem faced by women in the developing world. Epidemiologic studies examining the determinants of obstetric fistula in Afghan women are currently lacking. Therefore, this study examined the reproductive, sociodemographic, and geographic factors associated with obstetric fistula in women in Afghanistan. Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from a nationally representative sample of women collected through the Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey 2015. Descriptive and binary and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the prevalence of obstetric fistula and describe and assess the risk factors associated with the condition. Results: Among the weighted sample of 29,374 women aged 15-49 years, 2.99% reported having an obstetric fistula. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis, factors associated with women reporting a history of an obstetric fistula included parity, ethnicity, geography, income level, educational attainment, employment outside the home, decider on medical care, and their husband's education level. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the multifactorial nature of the determinants of obstetric fistula in Afghan women and underscore the need for multi-disciplinary integrative interventions to address the reproductive, socioeconomic, cultural, and healthcare related factors in reducing the burden of obstetric fistula in women in Afghanistan.