The Effect of High Fertility and Short-Birth Spacing on Maternal and Neonatal Health Status in Southwest Ethiopia: A Multilevel Analysis of Prospective Follow Up Study

Gurmesa Tura Debelew, Jimma University
Mesganaw F. Afework, Addis Ababa University
Alemayehu Worku, Addis Ababa University

Design: This study investigated whether high fertility and short birth spacing have significant effect on maternal and neonatal health status in Southwest Ethiopia. Results: Mothers having >=4 pregnancies were 43% and 54% less likely to use skilled care at birth and have appropriate neonatal care, respectively, as compared to mothers having <4 pregnancies. Mothers who had preceding birth-interval of <2years were 54% and 80% less likely to use skilled care at birth and appropriate neonatal care, respectively, as compared to birth-interval of >=2years. Fifth or above birth order neonates were more than 2 times more likely to die during neonatal period as compared to birth order of 2nd-4th. Conclusions: High fertility and short birth spacing had significantly negative effect on skilled care use, neonatal care and neonatal survival in the study area. Increasing access to family planning and its utilization are very crucial in the study area.

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 Presented in Session P7. Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families