Avoidable High-Risk Fertility Among West African Women: Any Progress and Prospect for Decline?

Jacob W. Mobolaji , Obafemi Awolowo University
Bola Lukman Solanke, Obafemi Awolowo University

High-risk fertility among women largely determines high maternal and infant mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, yet it is under-researched in West Africa. This study assessed the progress on decline in high-risk fertility and associated factors among West African women. The study utilized two most recent Demographic and Health Surveys of six West African countries: Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo using a weighted sample of 46,983 and 39,995 women aged 15-49 from the two surveys. Associations were examined using multiple linear regression. The result indicated that high-risk birth slightly declined only in Liberia (from 64% to 62%), Nigeria (from 71% to 70%) and Togo (from 61% to 57%). The decline was associated with non-Nigerians, secondary/higher education, middle/richer/richest wealth status, marriage at age above 18, using contraceptives and secondary/higher partner's education (p<0.05). The study suggests more proactive policy action to promote women empowerment and address cultural factors undermining intervention programmes.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1