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Unmet need for family planning among Myanmar migrant women in Bangkok, Thailand

02 March 2020
Volume 28 · Issue 3


Women migrating to different destinations may use, and be exposed to, different contraceptive behaviours. The unmet need for family planning can lead to a number of high-risk and high-parity births, thereby increasing maternal mortality. The study's objectives were to identify the prevalence of the unmet need for family planning and predictors for unmet need among Myanmar migrants. Data were collected from a survey of 360 Myanmar migrant women in Bangkok. Participating women's median age was 30 years. The prevalence of the unmet need for family planning was 15.8%. The adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of those in age group 36–45 years having an unmet need more so than the age group 18–25 years and 26–35 years was 2.52 (AOR–2.52, confidence interval [CI] 0.73–8.73); those with poor knowledge about family planning were three times more likely to have an unmet need for family planning than those with a good knowledge level (AOR–3.17, CI 1.30–7.68). The odds ratio of the respondents with an unmet need for family planning who were more dissatisfied with accessibility to family planning compared to those who were satisfied was twofold (AOR–2.05, CI 1.01–4.17) and fourfold for those who were unable to access a family planning outlet (AOR–4.17, CI 1.96–8.86). The findings of this study suggest that targeted interventions could not only increase knowledge and awareness of family planning, but also increase the visibility of sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

More people are on the move than ever before. People migrate from one place to another for the purpose of getting better opportunity for jobs and lifestyles across the world. The global level of migration is estimated to be about one billion: 250 million internationally and 763 million internally. That number represents about 1 in 7 people in the total population around the world (World Health Organization [WHO], 2017b).

Asia has the largest number of migrant workers of any region (United Nations [UN], 2017) and migration flows are experiencing increasing feminisation with 42% of migrants (Lasimbang et al, 2016). Thailand is the main destination country for international migration in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) due to significant differences in economic development with neighbouring Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and Myanmar (Huguet, 2016). Regarding international migration in Thailand, the number of migrants totalled about 1.2 million in 2000 and rose to 3.5 million in 2017 (UN, 2017).

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