Date of Conferral





Public Health


Shingairai Feresu


Rapid repeat pregnancy (RRP) is associated with adverse maternal and infant outcomes and a range of undesirable social and economic challenges for the mother, her baby, and society. Although the consequences of RRP are well known, Zimbabwe—a country with some of the poorest maternal health indicators—has not investigated or made efforts to directly address this problem. This is confirmed by the lack of targeted programs to curb RRP, the unavailability of documented evidence regarding RRP significant risk factors, and the lack of understanding of the extent of RRP in the country. Using social cognitive theory as the theoretical framework, an unmatched case-control study was conducted using data from the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey of 2015 to determine the prevalence of RRP and to assess associations between sociodemographic, sexual-relational, women's health, fertility preference, previous birth outcomes, and social factors and having an RRP in Zimbabwe. Logistic regression analysis showed statistically significant associations between all factors except for women's health characteristics. The prevalence of RRP among women of reproductive age (15–49 years) in Zimbabwe was 50.2%. The high prevalence of RRP and the multiple statistically significant associations reported in this study affirm the need for Zimbabwe to make prevention of RRP a public health priority. Zimbabwe must develop targeted interventions that work in context and integrate these into an ongoing comprehensive family planning program. In-depth research is needed to establish and understand the underlying motivations for having an RRP among Zimbabwean women. Such information may help develop targeted interventions to create social change.