Karki, Yagya B., and Gajanand Agrawai. 2008. Effects of Communication Campaigns on the Health Behavior of Women of Reproductive Age in Nepal: Further Analysis of the 2006 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey. DHS Further Analysis Reports No. 51. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Macro International
About 86% of the total population of Nepal resides in rural areas, and although the infant mortality rate (IMR) has declined from 79 deaths per 1,000 live births during the five years preceding the 1996 survey to 48 deaths per 1,000 live births during the five years preceding the 2006 survey, the current level of IMR is one of the highest in Asia. Pressure to bear male children and poor nutritional status creates enormous stress on women’s health. Nepal’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is estimated at 281 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births for the 6 years before the 2006 survey, and although this level has declined by nearly 50% from the 6 years before the 1996 survey, it is still high by world standards. Fewer children and more widely spaced childbirths are two of the most effective ways to reduce maternal mortality; 25% of married women of reproductive age in Nepal say they want to space or limit their births but use no form of contraception. The 2006 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) included a set of questions measuring the reach of selected health communication programs. The purpose of this study is to assess the reach of said programs about family planning and health in Nepal, the effect of exposure to these programs on contraceptive use and spousal communication, and the programs’ effect on safe motherhood practices, such as use of skilled birth attendants during delivery and practice of immediate breastfeeding.