Factors associated with contraceptive use among youths aged 15 to 24 years in Zambia

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Simataa, Nalwendo Melody
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The University of Zambia
Understanding the factors that are associated with contraceptive use among female and male youths in Zambia is essential to decision making in public health related issues such as reduction in unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and disability such as fistula. There is low contraceptive use among youths in Zambia and men play an important role in fertility decisions. Thus, the need to investigate the factors associated with contraceptive use among Male and female youths aged 15-24 years in Zambia. The study was cross sectional and used secondary data which was extracted from the 2013-2014 Zambia demographic health survey (ZDHS) database which was nationally representative. The study only considered 3599 males and 4498 females aged 15-24 years that were sexually active prior to the survey. Data was extracted and analysed using Stata version 13. Statistical analysis involved univariate analysis which is descriptive, bivariate analysis for associations and backwards multiple logistic regression to examine the determinants of contraceptive use among the youths in Zambia at 95% level of significance. The determinants of contraceptive use were age, parity, marital status and media exposure that increased with contraceptive use for both females and males. Contraceptive use increased with an increase in age, parity for females with one or more children and males with 1-4 children and media exposure (OR=1.28 for females and OR-1.42 for males). Female youths with urban residence, higher education (OR=2.62) and those that talked to a health worker at the health facility (OR=1.57; p-value<0.001) were more likely to use contraceptives than their counterparts. Males associated with rich household wealth status were more likely to use contraceptives (OR=1.25). Study also found that 99% of youths had knowledge of contraceptives but contraceptive use was as low as 32% among females and 39% among males. The results have implications for the youth programmes in Zambia. Therefore, media messages on contraceptive use focusing on youths aged 15-19 years should be intensified. Health professionals should be trained to be better equipped to deal with youths as they access services. Interventions focusing on the girl child’s education should continue in order for the country to reduce early and unwanted pregnancies and their resultant negative consequences. Additionally, interventions in rural areas should be intensified and youths should be economically empowered as those with a rich household status were more likely to use contraceptives. Key words: Contraceptive use, youths aged 15-24, Zambia demographic health survey, Zambia
Contraceptive use--Youths--Zambia