Estimation of the total fertility rates and proximate determinants of fertility in North and South Gondar zones, Northwest Ethiopia An application of the Bongaarts' model
Background: Evidence shows that nearly two million people are added to the population of Ethiopia each year. It has become clear that uncontrolled fertility has adversely influenced the socio-economic, demographic and environmental situations of the country.
Objectives: To estimate the total fertility rates and look into the relative contribution of the intermediate determinant variables in bringing fertility below its biological maximum in North and South Gondar zones of Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study which included a sample size of 3512 women of reproductive age was performed. Multi-stage cluster sampling was used to select the required study subjects. The Bongaarts model was employed to estimate fertility rates and quantify the contribution of each of the proximate determinants of fertility.
Results: The overall total fertility rate of the two Gondar zones was computed as 5.3. Among the three major proximate determinants in reducing fertility in the two zones, postpartum infecundability (Ci=0.55) stood first followed by contraceptive use (Cc=0.75) and non- marriage (Cm=0.83).
Conclusion: The fertility-inhibiting effect of postpartum infecundability resulting from prolonged breastfeeding is by far the most important proximate determinant in the entire study areas. A substantial role (particularly in urban areas) is played by contraceptive use. The promotion of breastfeeding should continue by all concerned bodies and the region should continue exerting its maximum effort to make the majority of the rural population users of modern contraceptive methods. [Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2009;23(1):19-27]