Published: 2021-11-25

Influencing factors of unmet needs for child spacing among selected countries experiencing high maternal-mortality in sub-Saharan Africa

Abayomi T. Olarinmoye, Olanrewaju D. Eniade, Olariike O. Kayode, Abimbola A. Abiola, Modupe O. Onifade, Sarafa O. Odewale, Bode Kayode


Background: Maternal complication and death have implicated unintended pregnancy. The indicator for measuring the risk of unintended pregnancy is unmet need for family planning (FP). It is necessary to explore the current situation of unmet need for child spacing (UNCS) as well as its influencing factors among countries that are experiencing high maternal mortality ratio. We aimed to unveil the prevalence of UNCS and its associated factors in Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Methods: We analysed the data from DHS phase VII survey, a cross- sectional study conducted from year 2017 to 2018 across several countries. Total records of 25,539, 5,553, and 10,050 were extracted for Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone respectively. Explored variables were UNCS, demographic characteristics and husband’s partners profile. Data was analysed using SPSS version 25. Descriptive statistics, test of association (chi-square) and binary logistic regression were used during the data analysis (α0.05).

Results: UNCS was high in Nigeria (15.9%), Liberia (22.5%) and Sierra Leone (21.9%). In Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, 40%, 37% and 49.1% were uneducated respectively. The proportion of married women were 89% in Nigeria, 32% in Liberia and 70.2% in Sierra Leone. Also, female headship of household (OR: 1.29, 95%CI: 1.09-1.54) was associated with UNCS relative to male headship of household.

Conclusions: UNCS was high in the three countries. Factors like educational status of women, age, as well as women as head of the households should be given much attention in the efforts to reduce UNCS as identified in this study.


Family planning, Maternal mortality, Unmet need for child spacing

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