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Effects of birth spacing on maternal health in the Tanzanian Lake Region

Janine Huisman, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Abiba L.P. Longwe, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Jeroen Smits, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

Effects of birth spacing on the self-perceived health of mothers and changes therein are studied for 807 women from 54 villages in Tanzania’s Lake Region (Kagera, Mwanza, Mara). Women were interviewed in 2004 and 2010 providing a rich source of data for two time points. Dependent variables are self-reported health of the woman and changes therein. Main independent variables are time spacing between last two pregnancies and births, number of children, age of children, problems during pregnancies and deliveries, family planning use and knowledge, characteristics of available (reproductive) health facilities. Control factors are illnesses and injuries of the mother, socio-economic factors and changes therein, demographic factors and changes therein, cultural indicators. Data are analyzed using multilevel regression models, with variables at individual, household and village level.

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Presented in Session 28: Social benefits of investments in family planning