Is Contraceptive Use in Northern Ghana Related to Stopping or Spacing Behavior?
Ayaga A. Bawah, Columbia University
Paul Welaga, Navrongo Health Research Centre
James Akazili, Navrongo Health Research Centre
Felix Kondayire, Navrongo Health Research Centre
John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Ghana Health Service
Fabian S. Achana, Navrongo Health Research Centre
Motivations for use of contraceptives vary across populations. While some women use contraceptives for birth spacing, others adopt contraception for stopping childbearing. This paper utilizes data collected in early 2011 in seven districts in the Upper East region of northern Ghana to examine whether women who reported use of contraceptives did so for the purposes of stopping or spacing childbirth. A total of 5,511 women were interviewed on various health and reproductive health related issues, including fertility and family planning behavior. Women were asked if they would like to have any more children (for those who already had children or those who were pregnant at the time of the survey). Preliminary results show an overall contraceptive prevalence rate of 13 percent but vary widely across the seven districts of the region. We hypothesize that in these traditional settings contraceptive use is more related to spacing rather than for stopping purposes.