An estimated 21,300 Ethiopian women died due to pregnancy related causes in 2008, a new study says.
The Alan Guttmacher Institute study, “Benefits of Meeting the Contraceptive Needs of Ethiopian Women”, also documents that about 7,300 of these cases are unwanted pregnancies, blaming low levels of contraceptive use as the main reason.
More than 7 in 10 Ethiopian women use “ineffective traditional methods of contraception” instead of modern contraception.
“Poor women have an especially hard time having only the number of children they want. Although their desired family size is larger than that of their better-off counterparts, poor women experience a larger gap between wanted and actual fertility,” the study shows.
“In 2005, the poorest women had 1.5 children more than they wanted, whereas the wealthiest, who likely have better access to contraceptives, had 0.9 children more than they wanted.”
The report says increased investment in contraceptive services is capable of creating considerable financial and health benefits. Ethiopia could save $34 million a year by meeting unmet demand for contraceptive services.
“It would cost $118 million to fulfill half of unmet need for modern contraceptives and $182 million to supply all women in need of a modern method…These costs, which may seem high at first glance, are more than compensated for by the savings that accrue from avoiding medical care expenditures related to unintended pregnancies and unplanned childbearing.”