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Levels and proximate determinants of fertility in Butajira District, South Central Ethiopia

W Mekonnen
A Worku


Background: Uncontrolled population growth is evidenced mainly because of the high fertility. Improving maternal and child health services in Ethiopia were one of the main aims of the health extension program. The impediment of early marriage was revised in the national family code which claims assessment of fertility situations.
Objectives: This study aimed at measuring levels and fertility inhibition effects of proximate determinants in Butajira district.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on resident women of reproductive age group recruited from the Butajira Demographic Surveillance System database. A total of 9996 women with different characteristics were thus interviewed.
Results: Total fertility rate was 5.3 children per woman with high urban-rural gradient. The non-marriage (Cm=0.66) had the highest fertility inhibition effect followed by postpartum infecundability (Ci=0.68), contraception (Cc=0.77) and abortion (Ca=0.96). Main differences were observed across residential environment and educational status. Abortion had a paramount significance among in school women (ca=0.76).
Conclusion: Not being married followed by postpartum infecundability and contraception inhibited high fertility. Abortion significantly reduced fertility among students. Keen awareness about negative consequences of high fertility should be attained. Women ought to be advised to marry late and stay in-school for long years. Extended breast feeding should be maintained for birth spacing. There must be sustained effort to increase contraception use rate. In-school women should be educated on problems of abortions. Youth-friendly contraceptive services must also be made available. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev 2011;25(3):184-191]

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