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Influence of internal migration on reproductive health in Myanmar: results from a recent cross-sectional survey.

  • Author(s): Sudhinaraset, May
  • Diamond-Smith, Nadia
  • Thet, May Me
  • Aung, Tin
  • et al.
Abstract

Maternal and reproductive health remains a significant public health issue in Myanmar. Little data exists on women's health issues, including social and demographic influences. While past studies have demonstrated rural/urban health disparities, an increasingly important population resulting from urban growth in Myanmar is the internal migrant population, individuals moving within the country for better job or educational opportunities. Past studies suggest that women make up more than half of internal migrants, yet there is a dearth of information on this new wave of migration, particularly on women's reproductive health issues. The objective of this study is to assess the influence of women's migration in Myanmar on reproductive health outcomes, including delivering in a facility, using a skilled birth attendant, and using a modern method of family planning.Data from a cross-sectional household survey using multistage cluster sampling design conducted between September to October 2014 was used to assess the accessibility and the use of maternal and child health products and services. A total of 1800 currently married women of reproductive age, including 348 from urban and 1452 from rural areas, were recruited to complete surveys. A set of multivariable regressions was performed to assess reproductive health outcomes and predictors.Across health indicators, female migrants had better health outcomes compared to non-migrants. Controlling for demographic characteristics, migrants were 1.60 times more likely to use a modern form of family planning compared to non-migrants (p < 0.01) and use antenatal care during pregnancy (p < 0.05). While not statistically significant, migrants were 1.29 times more likely to deliver with a skilled attendant and 1.08 times more likely to deliver in a facility.This study found that female migrants in Myanmar reported better health outcomes compared to non-migrant women in regards to family planning and maternal health. Future research should focus on monitoring the outcomes of migrants and their children over time to assess long-term impacts.

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