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Unmet need for family planning in Jamaica.

  • Chiezah, M A
  • Adamchak, D J
Published Article
Journal of biosocial science
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1995
PMID: 7650048


This paper updated and extended the unmet need for family planning services assessment for Jamaican women made by McFarlane and Warren (1989), and related this need to differences in background and socioeconomic characteristics. The data came from the 1989 Jamaican Contraceptive Prevalence Survey collected between June 1988 and November 1989. These analyses were restricted to 4451 women of reproductive age (15-49) if they had a common law or visiting partner relationship. Of the total sample, only 17% of women were legally married and living with their husband, compared to 23% in common law unions and 28% in visiting unions. While most women were not using a method to space births (8.4%) there was also a considerable proportion of women (3.8%) who were not using a method of contraception to delay the first pregnancy. Nearly one-third of spacers were delayers. Younger women had the greatest unmet need for family planning services to delay the first birth. Women with primary and secondary levels of education demonstrated high unmet need for family planning. Unmet need was slightly higher among urban than rural women, and the unmet need to delay was greatest among urban women. Women in visiting unions demonstrated a greater unmet need compared to women who were married and those who were in common law relationships. In addition, the greatest unmet need for the entire sample by parity was among women with 1 child (29.3%). Delayers were younger (83.2% aged 15-24 vs. 45.6% for spacers), better educated (82.0% with more than primary education vs. 66.8% for spacers), and more likely to be urban dwellers (39.5% vs. 31.6% for spacers). A slightly greater proportion of delayers was living in common law and visiting unions than spacers (92.8% and 86.6%, respectively). In all, 22.7% of women aged 15-49 who were in union and who were pregnant or amenorrheic as a result of an unintentional pregnancy had an unmet need for family planning compared to 16% previously estimated.

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