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Regional variations in contraceptive use in Kenya: comparison of Nyanza, Coast and Central Provinces

DOI: 10.11564/27-1-6

Keywords: Modern , contraceptive use , regions , variations

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This paper analyses the regional variations in contraceptive use between Central, Nyanza and Coast Provincesin Kenya among currently married, fecund women drawn from the 2008-09 Kenya Demographic andHealth Survey (KDHS) data. Specifically the study examined the role of socio-economic, cultural and demographicfactors in explaining these variations using both bivariate and logistic regression. The analysis confirmedthe higher use of contraception in Central compared to Nyanza and Coast. Current use of moderncontraceptive methods in Central is 70 percent compared with 39 percent and 37 percent for Nyanza andCoast respectively. The higher contraceptive use in Central is attributed to the better socio-economic andcultural environment compared with the other two provinces. Central Province has very few cases of womenwith no education, a much lower percentage in the poorest wealth (9.6) category and the highest proportionin monogamous unions (97.1). The higher socio-economic status and better cultural environment has in turncreated a favourable environment for the use of contraception through the intervening variables of knowledgeon family planning and fertility preferences. The logistic regression results suggest that differences in contraceptiveuse between the three provinces could be narrowed by increasing the level of education in Coast andovercoming traditional practices such as polygyny in both Nyanza and Coast. Although mortality is stillimportant, its effect has declined. However, the unexpected finding that contraceptive use is higher in ruralareas of Central and Nyanza Provinces suggests further research to understand what could be responsible forthe reversal.


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