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Proximate Determinants of Fertility in Zambia: Analysis of the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey
The role of proximate determinants in influencing fertility has been well documented worldwide. Bongaarts' aggregate model of the proximate determinants (which focuses on marriage, contraception, abortion, and sterility) has been widely used to analyse the influence of proximate determinants on fertility. In Zambia, however, there is limited understanding of their effects.Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of proximate determinants of fertility in Zambia using Bongaarts' model. This was a cross-sectional analysis of women's data from the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS). A total of 7,146 women aged 15 to 49 years participated in the ZDHS. Bongaarts' model was employed in the data analysis. Results showed that, overall, mean age was 27.8 years and rural-urban distribution was 56% and 44%, respectively. Marriage (40%) and postpartum infecundity (22%) accounted for the largest inhibiting effect on natural fertility from its biological maximum of 19.10. Contraception use accounted for only 3%. Therefore, in order to manage fertility in Zambia, policies and programmes should consider the effects of marriage, postpartum infecundity, and contraception on fertility. Without such targeted interventions, managing and maintaining population growth will remain a challenge in Zambia.
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