International Conference on Family Planning 2009

Family Planning: Research and Best Practices

The Impact of Wealth and Knowledge on Family Planning

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Amouzou and Otupiri

Agbessi Amouzou, left, with colleague Easmon Otupiri

Many factors affect a women’s fertility intention, measured in terms of her desire to have a child in fewer than two years, to delay childbirth by two years or more, or to stop childbearing. In a paper with Stan Becker, PhD, Agbessi Amouzou, PhD, presented findings that compared the effects of economic status and family planning ideation on fertility intention.

In this study, which surveyed married women who already had children, in Kenya and Ghana, Amouzou and Becker found that economic status is a strong predictor of a woman’s desire to stop childbearing: the higher the economic status, the higher her desire to limit or stop childbearing.

An even stronger predictor, however, was an index, created by Amouzou and Becker, that measures family planning ideation, defined as the sum of a person’s knowledge of family planning, exposure to the concept of family planning, and whether she has been visited regularly by family planning health workers regularly at home. The study showed that the greater a woman’s family planning ideation, the greater her desire to stop childbearing.

“This happens regardless of economic status,” says Amouzou. “Family planning ideation is a powerful generator of family planning demand.”

Amouzou concludes that in order to achieve a reduction in fertility, discussions about and exposure to the concept of family planning is necessary, especially in poor and rural areas. “If you give people the idea and stimulate discussion with them, you’re going to generate the desire to limit childbearing, to delay childbearing, or to space births further apart.”

Agbessi Amouzou is an assistant scientist in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Written by C. Grillo | JHSPH

November 16, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Nov. 16 Talks

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