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Glob Health Action. 2015 Nov 9;8:29736. doi: 10.3402/gha.v8.29736. eCollection 2015.

Trends and patterns of modern contraceptive use and relationships with high-risk births and child mortality in Burkina Faso.

Author information

Centre for Demographic Research, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.
Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population, Ouagadougou University, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso;
United Nations Population Fund, New York, NY, USA.
United Nations Children's Fund, New York, NY, USA.
Demographic and Social Statistics Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Nigeria.
School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
United Nations Population Fund, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
International Center for Equity in Health, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil.
Institute for International Programs, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.



In sub-Saharan Africa, few studies have stressed the importance of spatial heterogeneity analysis in modern contraceptive use and the relationships with high-risk births.


This paper aims to analyse the association between modern contraceptive use, distribution of birth risk, and under-five child mortality at both national and regional levels in Burkina Faso.


The last three Demographic and Health Surveys - conducted in Burkina Faso in 1998, 2003, and 2010 - enabled descriptions of differentials, trends, and associations between modern contraceptive use, total fertility rates (TFR), and factors associated with high-risk births and under-five child mortality. Multivariate models, adjusted by covariates of cultural and socio-economic background and contact with health system, were used to investigate the relationship between birth risk factors and modern contraceptive prevalence rates (mCPR).


Overall, Burkina Faso's modern contraception level remains low (15.4% in 2010), despite significant increases during the last decade. However, there are substantial variations in mCPR by region, and health facility contact was positively associated with mCPR increase. Women's fertility history and cultural and socio-economic background were also significant factors in predicting use of modern contraception. Low modern contraceptive use is associated with higher birth risks and increased child mortality. This association is stronger in the Sahel, Est, and Sud-Ouest regions. Even though all factors in high-risk births were associated with under-five mortality, it should be stressed that short birth spacing ranked as the highest risk in relation to mortality of children.


Programmes that target sub-national differentials and leverage women's health system contacts to inform women about family planning opportunities may be effective in improving coverage, quality, and equity of modern contraceptive use. Improving the demand satisfied for modern contraception may result in a reduction in the percentage of women experiencing high-risk births and may also reduce child mortality.


Burkina Faso; fertility; high-risk births; modern contraceptive use; under-five child mortality

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