Govindasamy, Pavalavalli and Emmanuel Boadi. 2000. A Decade of Unmet Need for Contraception in Ghana: Programmatic and Policy Implications. DHS Further Analysis Reports No. 31. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Macro International
This study focuses on unmet need in Ghana over a decade, using information gathered in the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys (GDHS) conducted in 1988, 1993, and 1998. Although use of contraception increased noticeably between 1988 and 1993 (from 13 to 20 percent), use of family planning increased by only 2 percentage points between 1993-1998. However, during this decade, there was a shift from a need for spacing toward a need for limiting.
Nevertheless, the potential demand for spacing far exceeds the demand for limiting by 2.5 times in 1988 and 1.5 times in 1993 and in 1998. The total demand for family planning increased by nearly 29% between 1988-1993 but declined by 3% between 1993-1998. During the same period, the demand satisfied increased by 22% in the first five-year period, but by only 12% in the second. Even more striking is the fact that programmes in 1988 were not meeting the contraceptive needs of 7 in 10 women, and ten years later, they were still not meeting the needs of 6 in 10 women. While the statistical relationship between unmet need, levels of abortion, and contraceptive prevalence is unclear, the fact that nearly one in four Ghanaian women age 15-19 has experienced early pregnancy losses may indicate that young women are resorting to other means of controlling unwanted pregnancies.