Objective: To describe women who accept single-rod progestogen contraceptive implants (Implanon; N.V. Organon, Oss, Netherlands) from community health workers in Ethiopia and to assess whether community-based provision addresses unmet need for contraception.
Methods: Women who accepted Implanon during training events in 4 regions were asked about their characteristics and use of family planning. They were compared with implant users nationally and women with unmet need in the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Differences between groups were tested using 2-sample comparisons of proportions and means.
Results: On average, Implanon acceptors were younger and had more years of education and fewer children than implant users nationally. Almost one-quarter (22.9%) of all participants had never used contraception before; this was slightly higher among women who chose Implanon (23.1% vs 16.4%; P=0.04). Acceptors were also less likely than non-acceptors to be using contraception (70.8% vs 77.3%; P<0.05) but all women interviewed were more likely to be using contraception than the rural population. Women who accepted Implanon were younger but more educated than women with unmet need for contraception in the 2005 DHS.
Conclusion: Provision of Implanon at the community level through community health workers is effective in reaching women with the greatest need for contraception.
Keywords: Contraception; Ethiopia; Fertility decline; Implanon; Single-rod progestogen contraceptive implant; Unmet need.