Meeting needs of newly-married youth: The Bangladesh case
International Quarterly of Community Health Education 18(4): 459-469
Publication date: 1999
In Bangladesh more than 1.15 million couples get married every year and approximately 90 percent of female spouses are below nineteen years of age. It is widely reported that newly married couples (those who are married within the last 12 months) were less likely to have been visited by field workers and have had limited access to family planning including reproductive health services. Findings from 1996-97 Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) suggest that little change has occurred in the age specific fertility rates among the females belonging to age groups fifteen to nineteen and twenty to twenty-four in the last five years . It is also observed that the current contraceptive use rate in age group fifteen to nineteen was 32.9 percent and approximately 10 percent of women in age group fifteen to nineteen do not want any children. The male methods use rate among the newlywed couples was double the national rate. It suggests that males from the younger generation are more likely to practice male contraceptive methods compared to the older generation. Married youths and those soon-to-be-married are critical demographic segments of the population. Achieving early population stabilization depends on how adequately and effectively the national reproductive health program serves them and how other development programs simultaneously compliments to health efforts. Using 1996-97 BDHS data, this article examines fertility and contraceptive behavior of the married youths in Bangladesh.