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Prevalence and risk factors of short birth interval in Bangladesh: Evidence from the linked data of population and health facility survey

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posted on 12.05.2022, 00:12 by Mohammad Zahidul Islam, Md IslamMd Islam, Md Mostafizur Rahman, Md Nuruzzaman Khan
The Sustainable Development Goals 3 targets significant reductions in maternal and under-five deaths by 2030. The prevalence of these deaths is significantly associated with short birth intervals (SBI). Identification of factors associated with SBI is pivotal for intervening with appropriate programmes to reduce occurrence of SBI and associated adverse consequences. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with SBI in Bangladesh. A total of 5,941 women included in the 2017/18 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2017/18 and 1,524 healthcare facilities included in the 2017 Bangladesh Health Facility were linked and analysed. The sample was selected based on the availability of the birth interval data between the two most recent subsequent live birth. SBI was defined as an interval between consecutive births of 33 months or less, as recommended by the World Health Organization and was the outcome variable. Several individual-, households-, and community-level factors were considered as exposure variables. We used descriptive statistics to summarise respondents’ characteristics and multilevel Poisson regression to assess the association between the outcome variable with exposure variables. Around 26% of live births occurred in short intervals, with a further higher prevalence among younger, uneducated, or rural women. The likelihoods of SBI were lower among women aged 20–34 years (PR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.11–0.17) and ≥35 years (PR, 0.03; 95% CI, 0.02–0.05) as compared to the women aged 19 years or less. Women from households with the richest wealth quintile experienced lower odds of SBI (PR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.45–0.85) compared to those from the poorest wealth quintile. The prevalences of SBI were higher among women whose second most recent child died (PR, 5.23; 95% CI, 4.18–6.55), those who were living in Chattogram (PR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.12–2.07) or Sylhet (PR, 2.83, 95% CI, 2.08–3.86) divisions. Availability of modern contraceptives at the nearest healthcare facilities was 66% protective to the occurrence of SBI (PR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.22–0.78). Also, the prevalence of SBI increased around 85% (PR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.33–2.18) for every kilometer increase in the distance of nearby health facilities from women’s homes. Targeted and tailored regional policies and programmes are needed to increase the awareness of SBI and associated adverse health outcomes and availability of modern contraception in the healthcare facilities.


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PLOS Global Public Health





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Public Library of Science



Rights Statement

© 2022 Islam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.