Abstract

Short Birth Interval negatively affects the health of both mothers and children in developing nations, like, Ethiopia. However, studies conducted to date in Ethiopia upon short birth interval were inconclusive and they did not show the extent and determinants of short birth interval in developing (Afar, Somali, Gambella, and Benishangul-Gumuz) regions of the country. Thus, this study was intended to assess the short birth interval and its determinants in the four developing regions of the country. Data were retrieved from the Demographic and Health Survey program official database website (http://dhsprogram.com). A sample of 2683 women of childbearing age group (15-49) who had at least two alive consecutive children in the four developing regions of Ethiopia was included in this study. A multilevel multivariable logistic regression model was fitted to identify the independent predictors of short birth interval and Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) was used during the model selection procedure. In this study, the prevalence of short birth interval was 46% [95% CI; 43.7%, 47.9%]. The multilevel multivariable logistic regression model showed women living in rural area [AOR = 1.52, CI: 1.12, 2.05], women attended secondary education and above level [AOR = 0.27, CI: 0.05, 0.54], have no media exposure [AOR = 1.35, CI: 1.18, 1.56], female sex of the index child [AOR = 1.13, CI:1.07,1.20], breastfeeding duration [AOR = 0.79, CI: 0.77, 0.82], having six and more ideal number of children [AOR = 1.14, CI: 1.09, 1.20] and having preferred waiting time to birth two years and above [AOR = 0.86, CI: 0.78, 0.95] were the predictors of short birth interval. The prevalence of short birth intervals in the developing regions of Ethiopia is still high. Therefore, the government of Ethiopia should work on the access of family planning and education in rural parts of the developing regions where more than 90% of the population in these regions is pastoral.

Highlights

  • The multilevel multivariable logistic regression model showed women living in rural area [AOR = 1.52, CI: 1.12, 2.05], women attended secondary education and above level [AOR = 0.27, CI: 0.05, 0.54], have no media exposure [AOR = 1.35, CI: 1.18, 1.56], female sex of the index child [AOR = 1.13, CI:1.07,1.20], breastfeeding duration [AOR = 0.79, CI: 0.77, 0.82], having six and more ideal number of children [AOR = 1.14, CI: 1.09, 1.20] and having preferred waiting time to birth two years and above [AOR = 0.86, CI: 0.78, 0.95] were the predictors of short birth interval

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) and Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) reports on birth spacing recommended a birth to conception interval of at least 24 months in two consecutive births [1, 2]

  • The study showed 2224 (82.9%) of the respondents did not have media exposure towards the short birth interval and 1651 (61.5%) of the women reported having more than six ideal numbers of children including the current birth

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Summary

Introduction

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) reports on birth spacing recommended a birth to conception interval of at least 24 months in two consecutive births [1, 2].Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 18 developing countries (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East) and an International comparison study of 77 countries using DHS data revealed that a birth interval of three or more years interval improves the survival status of mothers, under-five children and infants [3, 4].Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa, with a population size of more than 100 million and a fertility rate of 4.6 children per woman [2, 5]. Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 18 developing countries (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East) and an International comparison study of 77 countries using DHS data revealed that a birth interval of three or more years interval improves the survival status of mothers, under-five children and infants [3, 4]. Demographic Health Survey (DHS) studies revealed a high level of Short birth intervals (SBIs) in the region (Rwanda: 20%, Uganda: 25.3%, and Cameroon: 21.3%) [13]. Short Birth Interval negatively affects the health of both mothers and children in developing nations, like, Ethiopia. This study was intended to assess the short birth interval and its determinants in the four developing regions of the country

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