Injectable contraceptives in sub-Saharan Africa: historical and cultural influences on current use

Kimberly Rovin, Michigan State University

In many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, injectables have become the most popular contraceptive choice for women. Various hypotheses as to this increasing preference have been postulated including long-lasting protection, low failure rates for typical use, and the possibility of clandestine administration. However, the widespread popularity of injections as a preferred choice of pharmaceutical throughout Africa suggests historical and cultural influences as well. Using data from Demographic and Health Surveys, this study will analyze trends in injectable contraceptive use rates throughout sub-Saharan Africa focusing on determining characteristics of injectable users at individual, national, and regional levels. Evidence will also be drawn from family planning program data and anthropological literature on pharmaceutical use to explain the pervasiveness of injections throughout Africa. Specifically the contextual determinants of injectable contraceptive use, both historical and cultural, will be explored as to their relevance in explaining the rising prevalence of this method’s utilization throughout Africa.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Reproductive health, HIV-AIDS, poverty and gender