Article

Targeting women at risk of unintended pregnancy in Ghana: Should geography matter?

University of Southampton, Highfield, United Kingdom.
Sexual & reproductive healthcare: official journal of the Swedish Association of Midwives (Impact Factor: 1.25). 01/2011; 2(1):29-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.srhc.2010.10.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Unintended childbearing in Ghana is estimated to be about 0.7 births per woman, thus contributing to the high total fertility rate of more than 4 births. About one-third of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for family planning and there are strong geographic differences between and within ecological zones. Spatial analysis of risk of unintended pregnancies planning can reveal differences in the provision and usage of contraceptive commodities, thereby providing information of areas where programmes should be strengthened. This study uses data from the 1998 and 2003 Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys to examine geographical variation in the risk of unintended pregnancies among women in the three ecological zones of Ghana (Savannah, Forest, and Coastal). The data was analysed using multilevel logistic regression. Approximately 55% of Ghanaian women (married or in union) are at risk of unintended pregnancies and there are differences between urban and rural women, with rural women more likely to have their demand for contraception unmet. After adjusting for the socio-economic and demographic factors, the results show little differences between ecological zones in the levels of women exposed to the risk of unintended pregnancy, but they demonstrate significant within community effects, which influence the risk of unintended pregnancies for women within the community. Communities, therefore, can be used as units for targeting services aimed at increasing coverage of contraceptive commodities.

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