The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program Updates Questionnaires

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The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program has updated its questionnaires for DHS-8. Since 1984, the DHS Program has provided technical assistance to more than 400 surveys in 90 countries, advancing global understanding of health and population trends in developing countries. Specifically, the DHS Program collects and disseminates nationally representative data on fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, gender, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and nutrition.

The updated survey comes after an open comment period held in early 2019, in which over 1,000 pages of materials were received from stakeholders worldwide. After careful review, numerous changes were made to better meet existing and emerging data needs in global health. In all, 183 new questions were added across health areas, existing questions were revised to better measure current indicators and questions were deleted that were no longer programmatically relevant.

Updates particularly pertinent to the contraceptive technology innovation field include questions on use of subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) – an easy-to-use, all in one injectable –  and emergency contraception, and a series of questions on menstrual bleeding, including age of menarche and menstrual hygiene management.

Learn more about the DHS-8 revision process and the updated survey instruments in this summary document.

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