Ngianga-Bakwi, Kandala and Stones, R. William
Birth intervals and injectable contraception in sub-Saharan Africa , Southampton, UK Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute 11pp.
(S3RI Applications and Policy Working Papers, A04/24).
The interval between births is associated with child survival in the developing world. We investigate associations between use of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate and other reversible contraception and short birth intervals in sub-Saharan Africa. Data from successive Demographic and Health Surveys undertaken in nine African countries were analysed. Logistic regression was used to explain changes in the proportion of short birth intervals in four countries with relatively high use of reversible contraception. The overall odds ratio for the trend was 0.90 (95%CI 0.84 to 0.95) and this was unaffected by adjusting for the other variables. The odds of a short birth interval were reduced by exclusive breast feeding (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.78) and increased by use of injectable contraception (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.38). The proportion of short birth intervals has changed little over the last decade in a context of very low use of the intrauterine device. Widespread adoption of injectable contraception is associated with greater odds of a short birth interval, thus not contributing favourable conditions for improved child health.
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