182367 Private Sector Expansion: Does it Increase Inequality in Contraceptive Use

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 10:48 AM

Sohail Agha, PhD , Population Services International, Karachi, Pakistan
Mai Do , International Health, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Objective: To determine whether an expansion in private sector contraceptive supply is associated with increased socio-economic inequality in the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (MCPR inequality).

Methods: Multiple rounds of Demographic and Health Surveys data were analyzed for five countries that experienced an increase in the private sector supply of contraceptives: Morocco, Indonesia, Kenya, Ghana and Bangladesh. Information on household assets and amenities was used to construct wealth quintiles. A concentration index, which calculates the degree of inequality in contraceptive use by wealth, was calculated for each survey round.

Results: Socioeconomic inequality in the MCPR (MCPR inequality) declined in Morocco and Indonesia, where substantial expansion in private sector contraceptive supply occurred. In both countries, poor women continued to rely heavily on public sector supplied contraceptives even as they increased use of contraceptives obtained from the private sector. A marginally significant decline in MCPR inequality occurred in Bangladesh, where the increase in private sector supply was modest.

There was no significant overall change in MCPR inequality in Kenya or Ghana. In Kenya, the lack of significant overall change in MCPR inequality disguised trends moving in opposite directions in urban and rural areas. In urban Kenya, MCPR inequality declined as low-income urban women increased use of contraceptives obtained primarily from the public sector. In Kenya, MCPR inequality increased. This increase was associated with a decline in the supply of contraceptives by the public sector and nongovernmental organizations to the poorest, rural, women.

Conclusions: The study found no support for the hypothesis that an increase in private sector contraceptive supply leads to higher MCPR inequality. The findings suggest that continued public sector supply of contraceptives to the poorest women protects against increased MCPR inequality. The study highlights the role of the public sector in building contraceptive markets for the private sector to exploit.

Learning Objectives:
The audience will be be able to describe the role of private sectory supply in inequality in contraceptive use in developing countries.

Keywords: Access and Services, Privatization

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am directly involved in the research that I will be presenting
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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