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Original Research

Evaluation of reproductive health criteria in seasonal agricultural workers: a sample from Eskisehir, Turkey

Submitted: 10 February 2015
Revised: 27 May 2016
Accepted: 11 October 2016
Published: 8 December 2016

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Author(s) : Koyuncu T, Metintas S, Ayhan E, Oz F, Bugrul N, Gokler ME.

Citation: Koyuncu T, Metintas S, Ayhan E, Oz F, Bugrul N, Gokler ME.  Evaluation of reproductive health criteria in seasonal agricultural workers: a sample from Eskisehir, Turkey. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2016; 16: 3489. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=3489 (Accessed 28 April 2017)

ABSTRACT

Introduction:  The aim of the present study was to determine reproductive health outcomes of seasonal agricultural female workers in rural areas of Eskisehir, Turkey, and to compare such identified outcomes with the country-wide data.
Methods:  Data in respect of this cross-sectional study were collected during a field visit in July 2012. The study group was formed by all of the distribution camps located in rural areas of Eskisehir. Each tent was considered as a domestic dwelling and the census method was used. First, a household questionnaire about sociodemographic characteristics was administered. The '15–49 year old married women questionnaire' was applied only if there was a married woman in the household in the age range of 15–49 years. The said questionnaire comprised information on marriage, childbirth and family planning. The 2008 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey was utilized for the comparison between the data attained from the rural sample and those of the general population.
Results:  A total of 192 married women aged 15–49 years, inhabiting the 133 tents, were included in the study group. The mean age at first marriage and at first pregnancy were significantly lower in the female seasonal agricultural workers compared to the general Turkish population. Compared with the overall Turkish population, the crude birth rate and general fertility rate of the female seasonal agricultural workers were 2.5 times higher whereas the total fertility rate was 3.9 times higher and the completed fertility rate 2.3 times higher. With the exception of the 45–49 year age group, the age-specific fertility rates were 2–24 times higher. Female seasonal agricultural workers have higher fertility rates than the general population.
Conclusions:  According to the results of the present study, reproductive and maternal health status is significantly lower in female seasonal agricultural workers compared to the general Turkish population. There is a need towards multidisciplinary approaches in order for the provision of improved maternal and reproductive health status and outcomes for this group of disadvantaged women in terms of educational level, residence, fertility rights and access to healthcare services. Reducing the fertility rate should be the principal starting point.

Key words: agricultural, health outcomes, migrant, Turkey, women.

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