Determinants of contraceptive use in Swaziland.
Magagula, Hezekiel Mthezuka.
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In the last number of years Swaziland has made a lot of progress towards fertility reduction through a strong government and donor supported family planning programme. Despite this progress, Swaziland's unmet need for family planning of about 24% for married women is high given that Southern Africa's (of which Swaziland forms part) unmet need fell steeply from 2008 to in 2012. In addition, the Millenium Development Goal 5 calls for universal access to contraceptives services. In the light of the above, the overall aim of this study is to ascertain the level of contraceptive use in Swaziland as well as factors affecting why it is or is not used. The study uses secondary data obtained from the Swaziland Demographic Health Survey (SDHS 2007). SPSS computer software is used to present frequencies, cross-tabulations, and regression analysis of the key determinants of contraceptive use. The study uses both descriptive and multivariate logistic methods. All analysis is done for men and women between the ages of15 and 49. Knowledge of family planning is universal among men and women in Swaziland. Among the most well-known methods is the male condom. Overall, women are more likely than men to know of five or more methods of family planning. The survey shows that current use of contraception among men and women is 3 7%. Education is the most powerful predictor of current use among women and men. Both women and men who are less than 35 years are more likely to use a method of family planning compared to those who are 35 or more, albeit slightly. Marital status does not seem to have a significant independent effect on the use of family planning. The odds of using a method of family planning are higher among women with two to four children compared to women with less than two children. Residence has no significant effect on unmet family planning needs for both married and cohabiting men and women. The total unmet need among married women is 24.9%. The estimated total demand for family planning is 75.9% (24.9% of unmet need and 51.1 % of current contraceptive use). There is a need to raise awareness and improve access to family planning in rural areas among the poor, among younger respondents, and among uneducated men and women. Programmes should focus on men as well as women, and create an environment in which both sexes can seek services. Men also need to discuss family planning with their wives. Government should continue to give top priority to education; the recently rolled-out free primary education should be extended from Grade 5 to Grade 7.