Contraception and unmet-needs in Africa
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The first objective of this study is to show if diffusion of contraception in areas of traditional high fertility has gone through profound changes. Indeed, we would like to know if contraceptive behaviours have evolved because of new fertility perceptions and also because partners now have greater freedom to make choices in a relationship. The second objective of this study is not only to highlight the levels and trends of contraception and the factors influencing their use (government policies, role of family planning, etc.) in developing countries, but also to consider the population of unmet-needs of contraception. Indeed, the level of contraceptive use depends obviously on users, but also on non-users with no needs and non-users with unsatisfied needs. The understanding of this last category of females is essential to a more accurate estimation of contraception levels, and, therefore for the estimation of fertility levels. This study analyses the contraceptive use in several developing countries in Africa and highlights the unsatisfied needs of contraception, to understand why such needs exist. To do so, we shall analyse available demographic data for thirty-five African countries by using the available Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), from the 1980's to 2000's considering the DHS I, DHS II, DHS III and DHS IV. This great variety of surveys, seventy-nine in total, permits one to compare levels of contraception and 'unmet-needs' from country to country. The surveys also, make it possible to compare the evolution over time of specific countries or specific regions, and to subsequently comprehend the determining factors of contraceptive use or non-use.