The attainment of targets set for modern contraceptive use remains a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. Rwanda, in its new Family Planning and Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health/Family Planning (FP/ASRH) Strategic Plan 2018–2024 has set the attainment of a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 60% by 2024. To achieve this, identifying factors that enhance modern contraceptive use among sexually active women is critical.
We used three Rwanda Demographic Health Surveys (RDHS) datasets collected in 2010, 2015, and 2019/2020 in a multivariable decomposition analysis technique to describe trends and identify factors influencing change in modern contraceptive use among sexually active women aged 15–49 years. Results presented as coefficients and percentages took into consideration the complex survey design weighted using StataSE 17.
Modern contraceptive use increased from 40% in 2010 to 52.4% in 2020 among sexually active women. About 23.7% of the overall percentage change in modern contraceptive use was attributable to women’s characteristics which included women’s education levels, number of living children, and being told about family planning at health facilities. Coefficients contributed 76.26% to the change in modern contraceptive use. This change was attributed to modern contraceptive use among young women between the age of 20–24 years, women’s education level, the number of living children, changes in family size, and being visited by community health workers.
Rwanda remains on course to archive its 2024 family planning targets. However, there is a need to enhance programs that target sexually active adolescents and young adults, and women from rural areas to sustain the gains made. Furthermore, continuous support of community health workers will be key in exceeding the set targets of modern contraceptive use among sexually active women in Rwanda.