The effect of socio-economic factors on contraception and unmet need for family planning: a case study Dodoma region

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University of Dar es Salaam
Although family planning programmes started in Tanzania more than thirty years ago in Tanzania, the level of contraception is still low. As a result, fertility levels also remain at high level. There are some women who want to control their births (through spacing or limiting them) but have not done so for a number of reasons. Among the reasons advanced is, long distance to centres which provide services for family planning, reluctance to use the methods for fear of side effects, and ignorance. This study was conducted in selected wards of Dodoma urban and rural district in 1991, out of which, 832 married women were interviewed. The Women were of different socio-economic background. The purpose of this study was to determine contraception prevalence levels and to determine the Unmet need for contraception to space or limit births. Effects of some socio economic factors on contraception and unmet need, i.e education, residence, employment status and demographic factors including age of the woman and number of children she has were also determined. The study established that about one third of all married women in our population sample, were using modern and traditional contraceptives; including natural methods like abstinence, rhythm and coitus interrupts. Three quarters of these users were from urban district. The majority of users were educated, employed, and middle aged women. It was also found that 27 % of married women in the sample of 832 had unmet need for contraception among found women who were at risk of conceiving for not using birth control methods. More than half of women with unmet need wanted to use contraceptives for spacing births because their recent births came too soon or unexpectedly as they wanted to have them at a later date. About 40 % of women with unmet need either had unwanted births and or wanted to limit births. The age of a women, their residences education levels, employment status and the number of children they have, had an influence on unmet need for contraception. The fact that most women who were found using birth control methods and who had higher need were mostly educated and that living in urban areas is likely to reduce fertility in urban areas. Rural women who do not control births will continue to have many children they cannot support. They will therefore continue to be poor and weak economically, socially, and backward in development. It is recommended that rural women who desire fewer numbers of children should get more assistance by identifying them through a coordinating body, which will communicate between rural women and with the family planning workers for relevant services. By so doing, rural traditions of wanting large number of children may eventually phase out.
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Birth control, Contraceptives, Dodoma region, Tanzania
Nanyaro, P. B. M. (1992) The effect of socio-economic factors on contraception and unmet need for family planning: a case study Dodoma region, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (