Availability and readiness of healthcare facilities and their effects on long-acting modern contraceptive use in Bangladesh: analysis of linked data
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-11, 05:43 authored by Md Nuruzzaman Khan, Shahinoor Akter, Md IslamMd Islam
Aim: Increasing access to long-acting modern contraceptives (LMAC) is one of the key factors in preventing unintended pregnancy and protecting women’s health rights. However, the availability and accessibility of health facilities and their impacts on LAMC utilisation (implant, intrauterine devices, sterilisation) in low- and middle-income countries is an understudied topic. This study aimed to examine the association between the availability and readiness of health facilities and the use of LAMC in Bangladesh. Methods: In this survey study, we linked the 2017/18 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey data with the 2017 Bangladesh Health Facility Survey data using the administrative-boundary linkage method. Mixed-effect multilevel logistic regressions were conducted. The sample comprised 10,938 married women of 15–49 years age range who were fertile but did not desire a child within 2 years of the date of survey. The outcome variable was the current use of LAMC (yes, no), and the explanatory variables were health facility-, individual-, household- and community-level factors. Results: Nearly 34% of participants used LAMCs with significant variations across areas in Bangladesh. The average scores of the health facility management and health facility infrastructure were 0.79 and 0.83, respectively. Of the facilities where LAMCs were available, 69% of them were functional and ready to provide LAMCs to the respondents. The increase in scores for the management (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 1.59; 95% CI, 1.21–2.42) and infrastructure (aOR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.01–1.69) of health facilities was positively associated with the overall uptake of LAMC. For per unit increase in the availability and readiness scores to provide LAMC at the nearest health facilities, the aORs for women to report using LAMC were 2.16 (95% CI, 1.18–3.21) and 1.74 (95% CI, 1.15–3.20), respectively. A nearly 27% decline in the likelihood of LAMC uptake was observed for every kilometre increase in the average regional-level distance between women’s homes and the nearest health facilities. Conclusion: The proximity of health facilities and their improved management, infrastructure, and readiness to provide LAMCs to women significantly increase their uptake. Policies and programs should prioritise improving health facility readiness to increase LAMC uptake.