Unmet need for family planning in South Africa 1998 Malawi 2000
Molebatsi, Tshegofatso Queen
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Introduction: Unmet need for family planning is high in most African countries including South Africa and Malawi as witnessed by high levels of teenage pregnancies, unwanted births and unsafe abortion. As such unmet need for family planning was added to the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG) as an indicator for tracking progress on improving maternal health. Objective: The primary objective of the study is to determine the correlates of unmet need for family planning among women of reproductive age in South Africa and Malawi. Data and Methods: The study used the 1998 South African Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS) and the 2000 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS). Univariate, bi-variate and multi-nominal regression was used to determine the correlates of unmet need for spacing and limiting. Results: The results showed that unmet need for spacing birth in South Africa is 4.7% whereas unmet need for limiting births is 10.3% and the total unmet need for family planning is 15.0% in 1998. In the case of Malawi, unmet need for spacing births was 19.7%, whereas unmet need for limiting births was 13.9% and total unmet need for family planning was 33.5% in 2000. Unmet need for family planning in both countries varies by socio-economic variables. The results for multinomial logistic regression for South Africa indicate that age of the respondents; population group, marital status and children ever born were found to be determinants of unmet need of family planning for spacing. Age, region, marital status, educational level, ideal number of children and children ever born were found to be unmet need of family planning for limiting in South Africa. In the case of Malawi multinomial logistic analyses indicate that age, type of place of residence, number of children ever born, ideal number of children, the husband's approval of family planning, discussion of family planning with the partner and reading news of family planning in the newspaper are significantly related to unmet need of family planning for spacing and age and approval of family planning by a partner are found to be significantly related to unmet need of family planning for limiting. Conclusion: The findings have important policy implications. It is therefore, recommended that raising the status of women through education and skills development, increasing participation of men in sexual and reproductive health, promoting communication between couples are of prime importance in eradicating barriers to the use of contraceptive methods.
- Humanities