Only 14% of Benin’s women use contraceptives

Only 14% of Benin’s women use contraceptives

A STUDY  has found that fewer than one in 10 women in Benin use a modern contraceptive method, this according to two non-profit organisations.

“Many Beninese women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method, according to a new study released today by the Guttmacher Institute and the Association Béninoise pour le Marketing Social et la Communication pour la Santé [ABMS], a network member of Population Services International [PSI],” said Guttmacher Institute’s Rebecca Wind on Wednesday.

Guttmacher Institute is non-profit which aims to advance reproductive health through birth control. ABMS is a member of another non-profit, PSI, which focuses on improving the health of those in the developing world. PSI focuses on family planning, HIV and AIDS, maternal health, malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.

Together, the two NPOs researched data from 2006 and 2011 to 2012 Demographic and Health Surveys, producing the report entitled, “Barriers to Women’s Contraceptive Use in Benin”. Available online, the publication received funding from PSI under the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Choices and Opportunities Fund.

“The researchers found that, as of 2012, one-third of married women and half of all sexually active unmarried women have an unmet need for contraception,” said Wind.

These levels, research found, showed a “substantial increase” from 2006. Then, 27 percent of married women and 35 percent of unmarried sexually active women were not using a modern contraceptive. According to this latest research, only 14 percent of overall women used any contraceptive method while only nine percent used a modern method.

A variety of reasons for not using contraceptives were given by study participants, including fear of side effects and not yet being married.

“Few women overall cite lack of access as a reason for not using a contraceptive method, but this remains a barrier to use for about a tenth of rural women and women from poorer households,” said Wind.

In relation, Benin’s government declared it a national priority to increase modern contraceptive use to 20 percent by 2018.

“On average, women in Benin have one more child than they desire,” said Wind.

“Successfully fulfilling Beninese women’s unmet need for contraception can also help women and couples achieve their desired family size, and, ultimately, promote healthier lives.”