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New Study Shows that Distance to Health Facilities Impacts Contraceptive Use in Rural Ethiopia

A new study published in PLOS One, found a linkage between contraceptive use, the range of methods available, and level of contraceptive stock at health facilities in rural Ethiopia based on data collected from Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020. Researchers found that the percentage of rural married women who use modern contraceptives decreased as distance from the nearest service delivery point offering family planning services increased. The paper entitled, “Does proximity of women to facilities with better choice of contraceptives affect their contraceptive utilization in rural Ethiopia?” was published on November 13, 2017.

Drs. Solomon Shiferaw and Assefa Seme, Principal Investigators for PMA2020 in Ethiopia, and collaborating authors used data from the first round of data collection (January to March 2014) to analyze the use of contraception method for married women in rural Ethiopia based on the distance to nearby health facilities, range of contraceptives available in facilities, household wealth index, and the women’s demographic characteristics.

The article highlights key findings, including:

+The main sources of modern contraceptive methods for married rural women were health posts (48.8%) and health centers (39.0%). The mean number of the types of contraceptive methods offered by hospitals, health centers and health posts were 6.2, 5.4, and 3.7 respectively.

+Modern contraceptive use (mCPR) among rural married women was 27.3%.

+The percentage of rural married women who use modern contraceptives decreased as distance from the nearest service delivery point increased.

+41.2% of women living less than 2 kilometers away used modern contraceptives, 27.5% of women living 2 to 3.9 kilometers away used modern contraceptives, 22.0%, of women living 4 to 5.9 kilometers away used modern contraceptives and 22.6% of women living 6 or more kilometers away used modern contraceptives.

+Women who live close to facilities that offer a wider range of contraceptive methods were significantly more likely to use modern contraceptives.

+The mCPR ranged from 42.3% among women who live within 2 kilometers of facilities offering 3 or more methods to 22.5% among women living more than 6 kilometers away from the nearest facility with the same number (3 or more methods) available.

PMA2020 uses innovative mobile technology to support low-cost, rapid-turnaround surveys to monitor key family planning and other health indicators on an annual basis. The program is implemented by local university and research organizations in 11 countries, deploying a cadre of female resident data collectors trained in mobile data collection. In Ethiopia, PMA2020/Ethiopia is led by Addis Ababa University’s School of Public Health at the College of Health Sciences (AAU/SPH/CHS), in collaboration with regional universities, the Federal Ministry of Health and Central Statistical Agency. Overall direction and support is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017