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1.  Differential effect of wealth quintile on modern contraceptive use and fertility: evidence from Malawian women 
BMC Women's Health  2014;14:40.
High fertility and wide inequality in wealth distribution are phenomenal problems in sub-Saharan Africa. Modern Contraceptives (MC) are useful for limiting fertility, but are not always easily accessible in Malawi. This study examines the gap in MC use and fertility between women in the richest and poorest Wealth Quintile (WQ).
The study was cross-sectional in design and utilized Malawi DHS dataset, 2010. It focused on women of reproductive age. The dependent variables are ever and current use of MC. Chi-square and multinomial logistic regression were used for the analysis.
Mean children ever born by women in the poorest and richest WQs were 3.94 ± 2.7 and 2.82 ± 2.3 respectively (p < 0.001). The adjusted total fertility rate (Adj.TFR) was higher among women in the poorest (Adj.TFR = 7.60) WQ than the richest (Adj.TFR = 4.45). The prevalence of ever use of MC was higher among women in the richest WQ (82.4%) than the poorest (66.8%) (p < 0.001). Similar pattern exists for current use of MC; 58.5% and 45.9% for women in the richest and poorest WQs respectively (p < 0.001). Women in the richest WQ were more likely to ever use (OR = 2.36; C.I = 2.07-2.69, p < 0.001) and currently using (OR = 1.66; C.I = 1.40-1.97, p < 0.001) MC than their counterparts in the poorest WQ. Slight reduction in odd-ratio of MC use among women in richest WQ resulted when socio-demographic variables were used as control.
Fertility was higher and the use of MC was lower among women in the poorest than their counterparts in the richest WQ. Ensuring availability of MC at little or no cost may bridge the gap in contraceptive use between women in the poorest and richest WQ in Malawi.
PMCID: PMC3973841  PMID: 24602452
Modern contraceptive use; Richest and lowest wealth quintile; Total fertility rate
2.  Convergence in fertility of South Africans and Mozambicans in rural South Africa, 1993–2009 
Global Health Action  2013;6:10.3402/gha.v6i0.19236.
Although there are significant numbers of people displaced by war in Africa, very little is known about long-term changes in the fertility of refugees. Refugees of the Mozambican civil war (1977–1992) settled in many neighbouring countries, including South Africa. A large number of Mozambican refugees settled within the Agincourt sub-district, underpinned by a Health and Socio-demographic Surveillance Site (AHDSS), established in 1992, and have remained there. The AHDSS data provide a unique opportunity to study changes in fertility over time and the role that the fertility of self-settled refugee populations plays in the overall fertility level of the host community, a highly relevant factor in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
To examine the change in fertility of former Mozambican self-settled refugees over a period of 16 years and to compare the overall fertility and fertility patterns of Mozambicans to host South Africans.
Prospective data from the AHDSS on births from 1993 to 2009 were used to compare fertility trends and patterns and to examine socio-economic factors that may be associated with fertility change.
There has been a sharp decline in fertility in the Mozambican population and convergence in fertility patterns of Mozambican and local South African women. The convergence of fertility patterns coincides with a convergence in other socio-economic factors.
The fertility of Mozambicans has decreased significantly and Mozambicans are adopting the childbearing patterns of South African women. The decline in Mozambican fertility has occurred alongside socio-economic gains. There remains, however, high unemployment and endemic poverty in the area and fertility is not likely to decrease further without increased delivery of family planning to adolescents and increased education and job opportunities for women.
PMCID: PMC3556705  PMID: 23364078
fertility decline; education; adolescent fertility; birth intervals; labour force participation; contraception; socio-economic development; refugees; adaptation; Agincourt health and socio-demographic surveillance site
3.  Operationalising sexual and reproductive health and rights in sub-Saharan Africa: constraints, dilemmas and strategies 
The continued poor sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa highlight the difficulties in reforming policies and laws, and implementing effective programmes. This paper uses one international and two national case studies to reflect on the challenges, dilemmas and strategies used in operationalising sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in different African contexts.
The international case study focuses on the progress made by African countries in implementing the African Union’s Maputo Plan of Action (for the Operationalisation of the Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) and the experiences of state and non-state stakeholders in this process. The case was developed from an evaluation report of the progress made by nine African countries in implementing the Plan of Action, qualitative interviews exploring stakeholders’ experiences and perceptions of the operationalisation of the plan (carried out as part of the evaluation) in Botswana and Nigeria, and authors’ reflections. The first national case study explores the processes involved in influencing Ghana’s Domestic Violence Act passed in 2007; developed from a review of scientific papers and organisational publications on the processes involved in influencing the Act, qualitative interview data and authors’ reflections. The second national case study examines the experiences with introducing the 2006 Sexual Offences Act in Kenya, and it is developed from organisational publications on the processes of enacting the Act and a review of media reports on the debates and passing of the Act.
Based on the three cases, we argue that prohibitive laws and governments’ reluctance to institute and implement comprehensive rights approaches to SRH, lack of political leadership and commitment to funding SRHR policies and programmes, and dominant negative cultural framing of women’s issues present the major obstacles to operationalising SRH rights. Analysis of successes points to the strategies for tackling these challenges, which include forming and working through strategic coalitions, employing strategic framing of SRHR issues to counter opposition and gain support, collaborating with government, and employing strategic opportunism.
The strategies identified show future pathways through which challenges to the realisation of SRHR in Africa can be tackled.
PMCID: PMC3287464  PMID: 22376197

Results 1-3 (3)