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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Gambia: Only ‘9 per cent married women use contraceptives’

It also reveals that the prevalence of modern contraceptive method use in urban areas is three times higher than in rural areas (12 percent versus 4 percent, respectively). Women with secondary or higher education are more likely to use a modern contraceptive method, according to this survey.

“15 percent of them use a modern method compared with 6 percent of women with less education. The most commonly used methods are Depo-Provera injections, favoured by 4 percent of married women, and contraceptive pills, used by 2 percent of married women. Less than 1 percent use long-term methods, such as an Inter-Uterine Device or implant. One percent use a traditional method, including withdrawal, periodic abstinence, or some folkloric traditional method,” the survey revealed.
High preference for large families 
To gain insight into the childbearing aspirations of Gambians, men and women who were not sterilised were asked whether they wanted or did not want to have another child. Those who said they wanted another child were asked how long they wanted to wait to have that child. The result “shows that a very large majority of married women (78 percent) want to have another child, and 30 percent want to have another child soon while 47 percent expressed the desire to have another child later. Among all married women, only 15 percent said they do not want to have any more children. 
“The percentage of women that do not want any more children increases from 1 percent among women that have only one child to 46 percent among women with six or more children. However, the fact that more than 40 percent of married women with six or more children still want another child (9 percent of them soon and 32 percent of them later), underscores the preference for large families among Gambian women,” the report concluded.
According to the report, “All women who were interviewed in the 2013 GDHS gave a complete reproductive history, including the total number of children born alive, as well as the sex and date of birth of each child. For children who had died, women were asked to give the child’s age at death.” It said the data collected in the birth history were used to calculate age-specific fertility rates and the total fertility rate (TFR), two of the most commonly used measures of current fertility. 
The TFR is a summary measurement of fertility and can be interpreted as the average number of children women of reproductive age would bear in their lifetime if the current age-specific fertility rates were to remain unchanged. It found that “TFR in rural areas is two children higher than in urban areas.”
Author: Sanna Camara
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