Gambia: ‘Only 9 percent married women use contraceptive’

Report reveals preference for large families among Gambian women



By Sanna Camara

Results of the 2013 Demographic and Household Surve in the Gambi has indicated that only 9 percent of currently married women use a contraceptive method of any kind, and 8 percent use a modern method.

The report, which is a result of a study done by The Gambia Bureau of Statistics, is the first of its kind that was done by ministry of Health. It observes that the prevalence of modern contraceptive method use in urban areas is three times higher than in rural areas (12 percent versus 4 percent, respectively).


‘Less than 1 percent use long-term methods’

It states: “Women with secondary or higher education are more likely to use a modern contraceptive method: 15 percent of them use a modern method compared with 6 percent of women with less education.The most commonly used methods are Depo-Provera injections, favored by 4 percent of married women, and contraceptive pills, used by 2 percent of married women.”

Less than 1 percent use long-term methods, such as an IUD or implant. One percent uses a traditional method, including withdrawal, periodic abstinence, or some folkloric traditional

method, said the report.


Only 15 percent do not want any more children

To gain insight into the childbearing aspirations of Gambians, men and women who were not sterilized were asked whether they wanted or did not want to have another child. Those who said that they wanted another child were asked how long they wanted to wait to have that child. The result “shows that a very large majority of married women (78 percent) want to have another child, and 30 percent want to have another child soon while 47 percent expressed the desire to have another child later. Among all married women, only 15 percent said they do not want to have any more children,” the survey indicated.

“The percentage of women that do not want any more children increases from 1 percent among women that have only one child to 46 percent among women with six or more children. However, the fact that more than 40 percent of married women with six or more children still want another child (9 percent of them soon and 32 percent of them later), underscores the preference for large families among Gambian women,” the report concluded.



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