Background: Addressing unmet need for family planning provides an opportunity for policy makers in all sectors to respond to the expressed fertility preferences of their population while simultaneously improving health, slowing the rate of population growth, and contributing to achievement of national goals.
Objective: to examine the underlying factors of unmet need for family planning among currently married women in Kobbo woreda, North-East Amhara.
Methods: A community based cross sectional study was conducted among currently married women in Kobbo woreda. A multi-stage sampling technique was carried out to collect quantitative data from 692 women. Qualitative information obtained through focus group discussion and key informant interview were used to support the results from the quantitative data.
Results: The study result revealed that 47.3% currently married women have unmet need for family planning, of which, 27.5% for spacing and 10.5% for limiting. Thirty eight percent were using contraception and 14.7% of currently married women had no need. Unmet need for family planning is highest among women of younger age (<25 years of age), who have no education, live in rural areas, who married too early, have more number of living children (4 or more), have no or little knowledge of family planning and have never discussed family planning issues with their husbands and health workers.
Conclusions: since the higher level of unmet need is observed for women with less frequent discussion with health workers and husbands, large number of living children and early age at first marriage, family planning programs need to target these women in order to reduce unmet need for family planning.
Ethiopian Journal of Reproductive Health, 2011, 5(1):2-9