Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Differences in family planning outcomes between military and general populations in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo: a cross-sectional analysis
  1. Pierre Akilimali1,
  2. Philip Anglewicz2,
  3. Henri Nzuka Engale3,
  4. Gilbert Kabanda Kurhenga3,
  5. Julie Hernandez2,
  6. Patrick Kayembe1,
  7. Jane Bertrand2
  1. 1 Kinshasa School of Public Health, Universite de Kinshasa, Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  2. 2 School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  3. 3 Medical Division, Congolese Armed Forces, Kinshasa, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philip Anglewicz; panglewi{at}


Objectives To examine family planning outcomes among women living in military camps in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and compare these outcomes with a representative sample of non-military women in Kinshasa.

Participants Women of reproductive ages, 15–49 years. We compare two populations: women living in military camps and the general (non-military) population in Kinshasa.

Study design For sampling, we used a two-stage cluster sampling design, where we first randomly selected enumeration areas (EA), and then randomly selected women within each EA (separately for each of the two populations). We administered a survey on contraceptive use and family planning to all participating women. We use bivariate and multivariate analysis to compare these populations for a range of family planning outcomes.

Results We find many statistically significant differences between women in military camps and general female population of Kinshasa. Although they do not have more children, women in military camps are less likely to be using contraception (all methods OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.53; modern methods OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.79; traditional methods OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.71) and less knowledgeable about many family planning methods (less likely to have heard of implants (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.48), injectables (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.44), condoms (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.47), withdrawal (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.17) and rhythm (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.44) methods), while at the same time they are more likely to want to limit their births (OR 5.17, 95% CI 2.52 to 10.62), and less likely to have obtained their preferred family planning method (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.64).

Conclusions Women in military camps in Kinshasa appear to be an important and underserved population with regard to family planning. Our results suggest that women in military camps have limited access to modern family planning methods.

  • military
  • fertility
  • family planning
  • contraceptive use
  • kinshasa
  • Democratic Republic of Congo

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Contributors PA, PA and JB initially conceived the manuscript. PA and PA conducted the statistical analysis and wrote the first draft of the paper. HNE, GKK, JH, PK and JB reviewed the paper before submission and provided comments and edits.

  • Funding PMA2020 was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, under grant #OPP1079004. Data collection for military camps in Kinshasa was also supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, under grant # OPP1128892.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study has received approval to collect data from Institutional Review Boards at Johns Hopkins University, Tulane University and the University of Kinshasa.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data collected under PMA2020 are made publicly available. More details on data access for PMA2020 are available at:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.