The Family Planning As An Agent Of Population Reduction Of The Increasing Population In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

The Family Planning As An Agent Of Population Reduction Of The Increasing Population In Nigeria


Abstract


The purpose of this project work was to identify how family planning is an agent of population reduction of the increasing population of Nigeria in Ovia North East Local Government Area using some selected community as a case study. In the course of this study, the following research questions were developed:

  1. How profound is your knowledge I the issue of family planning?
  2. Is the general public still ignorant to the issue of family planning in this modern world?
  3. What are the effects or barriers of family planning to the society and to our self?
  4. Does family planning has any barriers on women?
  5. Has there been any proper awareness on the use of family planning in Ovia North East Local Government Area?
  6. Does the government have a role to play in the issue of family planning?

A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to the target audience. To test the research questions using the questionnaire, analysis of data obtained in the field was done through simple percentage, although people agreed that they are aware of family planning. However, based on these findings, it was therefore concluded that something should be done to help the programme achieve its aims, based on the findings, adequate recommendation were made.


Chapter One


Introduction

Background of the Study

Population increase has become a thing of great concern for economic planners, demographers and even government agents. As world population moves towards 5.9 billions, the per capital production of money basic commodities is falling, for instance the recent global food shortage is an evidence. (Population Report, 2006). The effort to raise incomes and living standard is falling in many countries like Nigeria, particularly where population is growing most rapidly and where family planning is not fully practiced.

In the seventies, our country enjoyed the oil boom and having a large family, did not bring any economic burden to parents because things were relatively cheaper and easy to come by. There was little or no psychological stress about caring for children. Many parents stuck to the traditional belief of having many children because culturally, having many children prove how wealthy a man is. More also many men prefer to have large families that cold help them in farming.

The current realization that large population can hold back socio-economic development and health for all programmes has led to the quest for information on family planning and other related reproductive health problems in Nigeria.

Planned Parenthood programmes have become necessary in Nigeria because of the prevailing socio-economy and psychological factors that affect both parents and children.

However, in recent years economic situations changed and caring for children brings both psychological and economic strains on both parents and children. Therefore, there is need for family planning either traditional or the newly introduced modern methods to curtail the trend. The traditional method include prolonged breast feeding, post partum, the use of ring, waist band, wooden doll, the use of black soap and salt to be dissolved and taken immediately after sex. The above mentioned methods are commonly practiced on the Yoruba’s. on the other hand, the new modern method emphasized the use of contraceptive such as pill, IUCD (Intrauteri9ne Contraceptive Device), condom, implant, and vasectomy. For clarification, the new modern method is broken down into three categories, which includes Temporary modern methods examples are pills, injectable, condom. Permanent new modern method examples are vasectomy, tubectomy and Natural methods which involves withdrawal method and rhythm (Ayeni, 2002).

Family planning is a way of maintaining reasonable interval in childbearing practice. That is letting a woman rest after giving the first birth before another birth. Family planning also embraces a way of preventing unwanted pregnancy, and a means of sexual gratification. Nwangoro (1999) defined that family planning is an organized effort to assist people to have the number of children they want and to space them as they choose. In addition, family planning is available to help individuals and couples to choose if and when they will have a child or to choose the number of children that they will have. The choices depend on a complicated mixture of social, cultural and psychological influences; and lately for the first time in history, men and women have had reliable methods to enable them to make that choice freely and relatively easily.

This principle of choice is important as it includes not only the choice of using family planning, but the choice of the birth control method most suited to the particular circumstance of the couple. But neither the man nor the woman can make an informed choice until each has a basic knowledge of the different methods, their efficiency in protection against pregnancy and their advantages and disadvantages. The choice maybe that the man uses contraceptive measures; or that the woman chooses the contraceptive. Both should know of the available method so that the decision is made carefully. The choice is helped if each partner has an idea of how efficient the method chosen is in an unwanted pregnancy. On the other hands, family planning involved the use of contraceptive control in limiting or spacing out pregnancies either for socio-economic health, or population control purposes.

The benefits of family planning cannot be over emphasized because they go a long way in helping individuals, parents, children, communities and government in the area of health, education of children, and social economic and political development of the society. For these reasons, government, non-governmental organizations and individuals have found it necessary to introduce family planning Programmes at federal, state, local and community levels and Isiala Mbano in Imo State in Okigwe senatorial zone is not left out. The local government is made up of semi urban and rural areas namely; Amaraku, Amauzari, Anara, Eziama, Ibeme, Obollo, Ogbor, Umuduru, Umunkwo, Ugiri, Umuneke and Umuozu

The population of the people is about ten thousand five hundred (2006 census figure from National Population Commission Office, Isiala Mbano Local Government Council Imo State). The local government has a wide range able land. For this reason; the major occupation of the people is farming. Due to the nature of their occupation, most men prefer to have a large family that will assist them in their farming and this had led to high population in the area. On the other hand, most of the women prefer to go into marriage rather than going to school. This is to a large extent affects the level of literacy among the people. It is only those in the semi-urban areas of the local government who have little interest in education and they prefer to send their children to school instead of engaging hem in early marriage. In view of the above discussion, the location levels of literacy to a large extent have impact on the level of awareness to family planning programme among the people.

Family planning was introduced to this country at a time when such need was of paramount importance. It was to bring both psychological and economic relief to families. Interestingly, government and other non-governmental agencies have put in much effort to bring the knowledge about family planning to the people through advertisement on Television, Radio and other media. For instance, in 1987, the Imo State Commissioner for Health stated that there should be increased public enlightenment campaign to educate parents on the need for them to make use of public health facilities particularly those concerning birth control. This connotes request for contraceptive device as prevention of unwanted pregnancy through provision of contraceptive as outlets that will be accessible to families. On this note, if family planning education is adopted, the problem of population explosion will be minimized. This should not be seen as divorcing sexual act from procreation. Family planning should be geared towards changing people’s attitude to family size. However, people’s attitude are to a large extent influenced by social and cultural condition of the environment as well as their views on the importance of children and their own need as status aspiration.

The applications of family planning method have a significant advantage to maintain in the area of health social economic and political endeavours, therefore should be a continuous process. Maine (1991), opined that family planning should be encouraged for its advantages on the entire society because the advantages derived from family planning are numerous.

However, opposition to family planning was rational to the physicians. This was because they saw family planning as writing with one hand and erasing withhe other, in this case they support family planning as a means of minimizing the problems posed by illegal abortion and abandonment of babies.

People who suggest family planning see it as he best thing parents can do for themselves and for their children. Akingba (1994) believes that it is Unreasonable to bring more children into the world than a couple can afford to maintain well. A couple should produce only the number of children that their circumstances in life permit them to feed, cloths, educate and generally look after properly in sickness and in health.

Another writer, Feuerstein (1991), stressed the necessity of family planning. According to her the major causes of increasing death o women at child birth seems to be “lack of self-discipline, poor spacing of birth and general disregard for simple health principles”. The result of pregnancies in quick succession is a worn out, easily tired, and poorly nourished young woman looking many years older than her real age. These states make one an easy prey to illness.

The effort of government and other agencies on this issue has to be complimented by counselors through thorough education of the people, especially at the local level where much will be achieved in securing better family units through well-planned child rearing habits.


Statement of the Problem

The world population is increasing in geometric rate; government can no longer meet up with the demand of their citizens. This has resulted to global food shortage. Having many children is really a great burden that tends to drain the financial resources of standard of living and bring about economic hardship. Most parents with large families find it difficult to provide the basic need of their children such as food, shelter health and education for the family. This tends to bring psychological and emotional stress on most parents.

Family planning is the practice of exercising choice about the arrival of the child into the family, taking into consideration the mother’s health, welfare or the children, family happiness and all the prevailing economic circumstances. Family planning encourages couples to have those children that they can properly and adequately carter for. Also family planning involves child spacing and child rearing practice.

On this backdrop therefore, the problem of this study pose as question, is what are the influence of family planning on families in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State.


Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study was to find out the influence of Family Planning on families in Isiala Mbano L.G.A of Imo State. Specifically, the study was set out:

  1. To determine the level of awareness the people have on family planning programmes.
  2. To ascertain the level of acceptance the people derive on family planning.
  3. To find out the most effective family planning methods embraced by the people of Isiala Mbano.
  4. To ascertain the influence of family planning on parents reproductive behaviour.

Significance of the Study

This study which investigated the influence of family planning is immensely significance to the parents, government, non-governmental organization, health workers, as well as family guidance counselors.

The benefit of family planning cannot be over-emphasized because they go a long way in helping parents, their children, and education of the children and also enhanced the socio-economic and political development of the society. For these reasons, government, non-governmental organization have found it necessary to introduce family planning at both Federal, State and Local Government levels to maintain good health, socio-economic and political endeavours.

However, guidance counselor will benefit from this study since it beholds on them to inform the public, parents as well as society on the importance of family planning. Family guidance counselor gives information related to child spacing and likewise encourage on the number of children one can carter for.

Since government and other agencies had made effort to control the situation, the researcher was therefore interested in the influence of family planning on he families of Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State. The study will therefore help parents, health workers and most specifically guidance counselors to know the right steps to take in creating awareness on the appropriate method of family planning that is good for different individual and society at large. Theoretically, the study will add to the body of knowledge in the step that had been taken so far in the implementation of family planning. This body of knowledge will be disseminated through publication in journals, workshop, conferences and seminars.


Scope of the study

This study covered the entire communities of Isiala Mbano Local government Area of Imo State. The study was limited to the response of the existing families in the entire communities towards family planning.
The Isiala Mbano Local Government Area consists of twelve communities namely:
Amaraku, Amauzari, Anara, Eziama, Ibeme, Obollo, Ogbor, Umuduru, Umunkwo, Ugiri, Umuneke and Umuozu. In addition, the study focused on the level of awareness, level of acceptance of family planning by the people, method of family planning mostly embraced by the people and the impact of family planning o nthe people’s reproductive behaviour.


Research Questions

In pursuance of purpose of the study, the researcher sought answer to the following research questions.

  1. What is the level awareness on Family Planning among the people in the community?
  2. What is the level of acceptance of the people towards family planning?
  3. Which of these family planning methods do people actually embrace mostly?
  4. What influence does family planning have on the reproductive behaviour of parents in the community?

Hypotheses

This study sought to test the following hypotheses:

  • HO1: There was no significant difference in the mean scores of the level of awareness on family planning methods, between the families in semi-urban and those in the rural areas.
  • HO2: There was no significant difference in the mean scores of the level of acceptance of new modern method of family planning between families on rural areas and those in semi-urban areas.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

This chapter discusses the findings of the study as they related to research question, implication, recommendation of the study, limitation of the study, suggestion for further study, summary and conclusion of the study.


Discussion of the Study

While carrying out the study on influence of family planning on families in Isiala Mbano local government area of Imo state. This was done under the following research questions.

Level of awareness on family planning among the people in the community

From analysis of data in table 1, the research showed that families in Isiala Mbano local government areas of Imo state unanimously agreed that they are aware of family planning in their various communities. The agreement on the level of awareness of the people on family planning was based on the fact that the people are aware of different family planning methods which include new modern methods, traditional method, have attended seminars and have received instruction on how to use implantation.

Therefore, it as evidently clear that the people have a very high level of awareness on the existence of family planning. Knowledge of family planning method has been found to be highest among women aged 20-39 years. This is probably due to the fact that this is the most reproductive years of women (Agbola, 2001). One will however expect a higher knowledge of information about family planning now efforts have been put on the importance of family planning by both the government and other agencies through advertisement on TV and radio (Piotrow, 2000).

Level of acceptance of the people towards family planning

This research question sought to find out the level of acceptance of the people toward family planning. Responses obtained from the research question unanimously agreed that there was a high level of acceptance of family planning among the people. Their agreement was based on the fact that the people agreed that they preferred natural family planning, couples decided to use condom, they prefer the use of pills, implantation as the most convenient family planning method and injectable is one of the family planning methods the people cherished. This is in line with Jayasuriya and Owen (2005), findings from a study they carried out in rural Vietnam, which revealed that there is a strong support among household for the acceptance and utilization of contraceptive.

Which of these family planning methods do people embrace mostly?

From the analysis of data in table 3, the result showed that majority of the family planning method were not embraced by the people. This negative response was based on the fact that most people disagree with the use of condom, and implantation method.

However, the respondents agrees on the use of injectable based on their doctor’s advice, use of pills to prevent pregnancy, that the traditional family planning method is cheaper and safer than the new modern method and the use of contraceptive have no side effect in reproductive system. This finding is in line with Ayeni (1999) who stated that there is different family planning method ranging from traditional to new modern method.

What influence does family planning have on the reproductive behaviour of parents?

The data obtained from cluster D of the instrument provided that family planning has a positive impact on people’s reproductive behaviour. This is in line with the people’s agreement that family planning helps to encourage child spacing among couple during their reproductive years, some religious doctrine upholds family planning because it serves as a means of disciplining some promiscuous individual and family planning helps couples to enjoy their sexual life after giving birth to the number of children they want.

Their responses also indicated that thee is a disagreement on the fact that constant practice of family planning does not have any adverse effect on reproductive system. Agreeing on this, is the fact that Ladipo (2000), in a lecture titled injectable contraceptive organized by the department of obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu stated that the advantages of “family planning”: far out-weigh their side effect on families and therefore should be encouraged.

Hypothesis I

The null hypothesis presentation in table 5 was at 0.05 level of significance. The finding showed that there was no significant differences in the level of awareness on family planning between family in the rural areas and those in the semi-urban areas with regard to impact of family planning on families in Isiala Mbano Local Government of Imo state. The data collected and tested showed that the ‘t’ calculated was less than ‘t’ critical and that forms the base for accepting the hypothesis.

Hypothesis II

The null hypothesis II (table 6) used for this research was also tested at 0.05 level of significance and the result obtained was that, there is no significant difference in the level of acceptance of family planning method between families in rural areas and semi-urban areas with regard to impact of family planning on families. The data collected and tested showed that the ‘t’ calculated was less than the ‘t’ critical and so the hypothesis is accepted. This confirms the guess that no significant difference exist.

What matter in any community either rural or semi urban is the ability of every family to embrace and put into practice the family planning methods at their disposal. Location should not influence the practice of family planning among couples. All families both in the rural and semi-urban areas should work toward achieving the goal/benefits of family planning to improve the standard of living in our country.


Educational Implication

The finding of this study have some educational implications for the parents, government, health workers and family guidance counselors. One of the findings of this study is that most people though are aware of family planning and accepted it, they do not put it into practice. This indicates the need for parents to develop interest in practicing family planning, since it has no negative impact on their reproductive behaviour. To ensure full embracement and putting into practice family planning method, government should intensify effort in establishing family planning clinics in every community to boost the accessibility of the people to such centers. Health workers should be up and doing to put into practice these family planning methods that the people are already aware of. For family guidance counsellor, it is necessary for them to re-educate parents on the need to put into practice family planning methods that it recommended for them by health care provider.


Recommendation

The following recommendations have been in light of he findings, the discussion that followed and the various implications that have been highlighted.

  1. Seminars and workshop concerning reproductive issue should be regularly conducted for parents. This will enable them effectively put into practice various family planning that are within their reach.
  2. The community approach should be used in integrating family planning education in various communities. The aim is not only to motivate the people as well as to generate social support for family planning. To do this effectively in our rural environment there is need to know something about the community such as its structure, its channels of communication, its attitude to government agencies as well as its attitudes to health and family planning.
  3. Family planning education can form part of health education. This could be given to pregnant mothers attending the antenatal clinics. All health officers should actively participate in family planning education in their communities.
  4. Every person whether married or single should be made aware of the need for family planning. This awareness could be created through massive population and medical education. People should be made aware of the individual benefits that could emanate from family planning and how this may be realized. To this effect mass media should be intensively used.
  5. Direct family planning services clinics and multipurpose community centers should be opened by the government in rural and semi-urban areas.

These should also be methods of reaching coupled at their door steps.


Limitation of the Study

The study was constrained by a number of factor prominent among them are

  1. The study being restrained to a local government in the state, the result of findings will not be generalized to the whole state due to limited number of sample used.
  2. As a descriptive survey information on data collected on the basis of the opinion (perception) could be misleading due to dishonesty of the respondents in providing the needed information.
  3. The study was very strenuous, time consuming and cost intensive for the researcher because she had to reach all the autonomous communities concerned.

Suggestions for Further Study

Based on the findings and limitation of this study further researches could address the following areas.

  1. Carry out a study on wide scope on the influence of family planning on families in Okigwe senatorial district.
  2. Carry out a study on the assessment of the success of family planning programme in Imo State.

Summary of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of family on families in Isiala Mbano local government of Imo state.

In pursuance of the aforementioned objectives, four research questions are posed, two hypotheses postulated. The instrument used was the researcher made questionnaire title “influence of family planning on families”. Review of related literature was done under four major headings and nine subheadings which provided the researcher with information on what has been done in the area as well as a sound conceptual framework of the study. Subjects for the study constituted 240 parents from the 12 communities that make up Isiala Mbano local government area of Imo state. The research questions were analysed using mean score while the hypotheses were tested using t-test statistics.

The result revealed

  1. Families in Isiala unanimously agreed that they are aware of the existence of family planning methods in their communities.
  2. They also unanimously agreed that there is a high level of acceptance of family planning method.
  3. The finding from the analysis of data obtained from responses to research question 3, item 11, and 14 revealed that most people do not embrace the use of condom and implantation. While items 12, 13, 15 and 16 indicates that injectable based on doctor’s advice is preferred, pills prevent pregnancy, traditional family planning method is cheaper and safer than the new modern methods and that use of contraceptives have o side effect on reproductive system.
  4. Parents unanimously agreed to items 18, 19 and 20 that family planning have positive impact on reproductive behaviour while only item 17 disagreed with the fact that constant practice of family planning does not have any adverse effect on reproductive system.
  5. There was no significant different in the mean rating on the level of awareness on family planning method between families in rural and semi-urban areas with regard to impact of families planning on families. In other words, no two groups were significantly different at 0.05 level.
  6. There was no significant different in the mean rating of level of acceptance of family planning method between families in rural and semi-urban areas with regard to the impact of family planning on families. The implications of the research findings, recommendations, suggestions for further research and limitation of the study were also highlighted.

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