The Drivers of Fertility Decline Among Women in Murang’a County, Kenya
Ndome, Michael Njihia
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Declines in world’s fertility over the last three decades have been termed by scholars and demographers as the most notable demographic change. Fertility stall has been in Kenya coming after decades of very high levels of fertility. Inconsistent with the national demographics, Murang’a County recorded an abnormal age sex pyramid during the 2009 national census. This thesis focuses on the proximate determinants of Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in Murang’a County. This thesis presents an empirical investigation of the drivers of fertility decline in Murang’a County by determination of how sexual exposure, contraceptive use, postpartum infecundability and abortion among women in Murang’a County have impacted on the Total Fertility Rate. The study was guided by the revised Bongaarts (2015) proximate determinants Model (PDM). The study made use of descriptive survey design and both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used. It was carried out in Murang’a County and targeted women in the reproductive age. In selecting participants, the study used NASSEP V – a selection framework developed by the National Sample Survey and Evaluation Program V and previously utilized by KDHS (2009). Data from primary and secondary sources were used in the study. While primary data originated from directly interacting with the participants in the field through focus group discussions key informants interview and questionnaires, secondary data was obtained from critical textual analysis of books, journals, newspapers, reports, dissertations and thesis. Analysis of qualitative data was done by creating themes around the study objectives. Quantitative data was analysed in terms of percentages, means and percentiles which provided indices for Bongaarts (2015) proximate determinants model. Presentation of analysed data was by bar graphs, histograms and pie charts followed by brief explanations. In the findings the study presents the decline in the T.F.R on Murang’a County to be 25.17% as a result of sexual exposure, 24.2% as a result of contraceptive use, 11.1% as a result of postpartum infecundability and 3.2% as a result of incidence of abortion. The study presents recommendations for policies that demystify the above indices among them tightening of laws that govern the sale and use of legal brew, curbing juvenile sex and involvement of men in fertility issues. Findings from this study will be helpful to the stakeholders of the current demographic and fertility concerns as it will act as a stimulus and force in the formulation, execution and monitoring of demographic policies not only in Kenya but also globally.