Every nation moves through developmental stages, either progressively or regressively. Though sometimes it may seem the nation is fixated at some stages, she would eventually either move up or down.The demographic transition theory seeks to explain these developmental stages that are determined by the population growth rate.
According to the theory, some nations have completed the transition and are maintaining a stable economy and growth rate. However, some countries are still staggering between stages and some others are fixated. In all these, the theorist relates economic affluence to ability to control population growth rate.
Population growth rate has a huge influence on availability of resources.
A nation whose growth rate is greater than economic progression is heading for recession. Growth rate can be affected by birth, death, and migration rates. Birth rate is the most common means of increasing population size. Measures have been developed to control birth rate. One of the means is contraception.
Contraception is any means intended to prevent pregnancy by interfering with the natural process of ovulation, fertilisation and implantation (Tuteur& Wells, 2018). The traditional methods of withdrawal and abstinence date as far back as the bible. However, more sophisticated methods (e.g. condoms, intra uterine devices, pills, etc) have been developed and are now available and used globally.
Though there was a limitation in contraception options available in Nigeria in the past, the birth rate was balanced with sufficient resources. However, recently, Nigeria is experiencing economic recession but birth rate has not been successfully controlled. Studies (Fayehun, 2017; Oye-Adeniran, Adewole, Odeyemi, Ekanem&Umoh, 2005) have shown there is an increase in availability and awareness of modern contraceptive methods but use is still considerably low.
The paper aims specifically to:
1) Discuss the Demographic transition theory (DTT)
2) Review the past and current use of contraception in Nigeria
3) Relate the Demographic transition theory to contraception in Nigeria
4) Suggest ways forward
5) Enumerate the implications of DTT and contraception to Midwifery practice
DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms will be used often in this paper and would imply the following:
• Birth rate: The number of births per 1,000 in a year.
• Death rate: The number of deaths per 1,000 in a year
• Population growth rate: the crude birth rate minus the crude death rate
• Contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR): percentage of sexually active women (15-49years) who are practicing or whose partners are practicing any form of contraception childbearing years
• Total fertility rate: the number of children a woman would give birth to at the end of her reproductive years.
• Yesterday: years before Nigeria’s independence (1960)
• Today: from 1960 to 2017
DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION THEORY
The Demographic transition theory describes the dynamism of every population. It was proposed by Warren Thompson in 1929 (Montgomery, n.d.). It represents the advancement of a nationfrom period of high birth and death rates marked as pre industrial era to low birth and death rates (industrial era). Warren proposes that the birth rate and death rates of every nation change over time and these affect the economic development and vice versa (Weber, 2018).It also suggests that there is a relationship between birth rate and death rate which varies with economic development (Lloyd, 2012). As the nation advances in technology in all spheres, its birth and death rates are affected leading to a shift in population growth rate. Therefore, economic development can reduce the death rate. According to Warren, every nation passes through different stages of population growth (Yelnick, 2018).
There are usually 4-5 stages for categorizing demographic transition. Earlier categorization was done in 4 stages. However, with the change in population pattern which could not be addressed by 4 stages, a new 5th stage has been added to it (Divisha, 2017).Every country can be placed within these stages, but not every stage of the theory has a country that meets its specific definition. For example, there are currently no countries in Stage 1, nor are there any countries in Stage 5, but the potential is there for movement in the future (Grover, 2014)
About The Authors:
Ugwueze, Chinazom N. And Ngokere Chinyere are Masters Students of Maternal and Child Health, from the department of Nursing Sciences of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
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