Reproductive Health Survey for Policy Information – Jamaica Information Service
It is very important to understand fertility levels, contraceptive use, and the population’s knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding family planning and reproductive health.
For this reason, the Reproductive Health Survey (RHS) 2021 is being carried out by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) on behalf of the National Family Planning Board (NFPB).
NFPB Chief Executive Lovette Byfield recounts JIS news that the survey is long overdue as the last one was carried out in 2008 and since then “we have been using the same data and we have to change that”.
The RHS is to be carried out every four years.
Ms. Byfield informs that STATIN was originally signed in 201; However, due to funding and other preparatory challenges, the survey did not get off the ground.
“We managed to solve the funding problem,” she says, adding that the government of Jamaica contributed just over $ 72 million while STATIN contributed nearly $ 7 million.
Ms. Byfield says the RHS 2021 is very important as it will provide new data on critical issues, including adolescent fertility rates.
“We look at our contraceptive prevalence rate, which contraceptives are used by which population group, which of them are the preferred contraceptives, and we also want to see how people actually plan and distance their children,” she adds.
She goes on to explain that the survey will also “look at the age group” [15 to 49 years] to see who has the most children and we can also determine the socio-economic status of these people ”.
Ms. Byfield indicated that the data obtained will be used as a basis for policy decisions and programs that will be implemented to address the identified gaps. The results are also used in reports to international partners, particularly in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Once we have the survey results, we will share them nationally with our various regional health authorities and our critical stakeholders, and then use the information to see how we can expand our programs to improve our reproductive health status of the population,” adds Mrs. Byfield
Philone Mantock, Head of the Special Projects Department of the Surveys Department at STATIN, emphasizes STATIN’s role in the implementation process and states that “we are responsible for the operational matters of the survey, including sample design and selection, questionnaire testing and review, training” . the interviewer and supervisor, the selection of these people and the planning and data collection phase of the survey ”.
Ms. Mantock further points out that the survey includes two independent samples, each comprising men and women aged 15 to 49 years.
During the data collection period, which ends in December 2021, a total of 11,080 apartments in all parishes are to be visited.
According to Ms. Mantock, the sample size was chosen on a random basis, but the team first had to identify the counting districts.
“We selected 554 census districts and that is the smallest size to take survey data,” says Ms. Mantock, adding that each district has 20 apartments.
She announced that the questionnaire would be carried out by trained interviewers.
“Interviewers must sign a Secrets Act and an oath that they will maintain confidentiality. Everything that is disclosed to them must be kept secret, ”added Ms. Mantock.
The questionnaire can be completed on average in around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the respondent’s age and experience.