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Asia Pac Popul J. 1994 Mar;9(1):3-18.

Community resources and reproductive behaviour in rural Bangladesh.



Local community impact on contraceptive usage is illustrated in this logistic model of contraceptive behavior in 1986 in rural Bangladesh. Variables include an index of accessibility and availability of family planning (FP) at the "thana" level, age of respondent, respondent's educational level, desire to have a child, distance from the district, rural electrification, an index of agricultural wages and percentage of small farm households, and presence of a mosque. Community-level variables are found to be significant in separate equations and in equations with individual level variables. Contraceptive use is more likely to occur in a rural situation where there are commercial places such as market places and post offices. Contraceptive use is enhanced by "thana" closeness to district headquarters. Reduced contraceptive use is related to rural areas with many small farm households and a high agricultural wage rate. Access to FP provides a positive environment for improving motivation to use contraception and for improving use of modern methods. The degree of rural isolation negatively impacts on contraceptive use. Bangladesh is one of the few countries with a comprehensive development program at the sub-district level or "thana." Health centers and family welfare centers are established but are unevenly distributed spatially. Data for this study were obtained from the 1985 Bangladesh Contraceptive Prevalence Survey of 7681 rural women aged under 50 years, from the 1983 Agricultural Census on farm land, and from other statistical publications. Information was obtained on 120 "thanas." Contraceptive use status is measured as use, nonuse, modern use, traditional use, intention to use, and nonintention to use. The religious variable is negative, as expected, but not significant for contraceptive use and intention to use. The sign is positive for modern contraceptive use. Closer examination reveals that respondents with no education and with no household land are more frequent users of modern methods, including sterilization which incurs a religious moral and social stigma. Other data support the notion that religious beliefs are not an important factor in nonuse of contraceptives in Bangladesh. The FP index has a significant impact on use and intention to use but has a positive and insignificant effect on modern methods, which may indicate measurement error.

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