Knowledge, Attitude And Practices Of Women Towards Family Planning Services
The study examined Knowledge, Attitude and practice of family planning among women living in Jalingo, Northern Nigeria. The research examined some of family planning methods such as the use of injections, pills, condoms among others. 200 randomly selected married women formed the sample size of the study. Questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection. Copies of questionnaire were administered to 200 married women in Jalingo. The entire questionnaires administered were duly filled and retrieved; this was made possible through the aid of research assistants. SPSS was used for data analysis with descriptive statistical devices; frequency counts and simple percentages. Data were presented in tables. Findings revealed that married women in Jalingo metropolis are aware of family planning but do not practice it. Findings further revealed that religion and cultural beliefs dissuade women from practicing family planning. The study recommends, among other things, that improvement in the delivery of family planning services to all parts of Taraba state will help make its adoption more appealing as well as the inclusion of men as targets of family planning campaigns will have an important influence on its acceptance and usage.
Keywords: family planning, married women, attitude, acceptance and practice, Jalingo, Nigeria.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background of the study
- 1.2 Statement of the problem
- 1.3 Objective of the study
- 1.4 Research questions
- 1.5 Research hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the study
- 1.7 Scope of the study
- 1.8 Limitation of the study
- 1.9 Definition of terms
- 1.10 Organisations of the study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the study
- 3.3 Sample size determination
- 3.4 Sample size selection technique and procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of data collection
- 3.7 Method of data analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the study
- 3.9 Reliability of the study
- 3.10 Ethical consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
- 4.5 Interpretation of Result
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background of the Study
The practice of family planning has called for global attention because of its importance in decision making on population growth and issues of development. Childbearing and the use of contraceptives are some of the most important decisions on reproduction that could be taken by couples to curtail the number of children they want to have. Therefore, the issue of family planning and its methods has led many married women to either accept family planning or reject it (Suntai and Apuke, 2016). The World Health Organisation (1971) defines Family Planning as the practice that helps individuals or couples to attain certain objectives such as avoiding unwanted pregnancies, regulating the interval between pregnancies, controlling the time at which birth occurs in relation to the ages of the parents and determining the number of children in the family. However, Onokerhoraye (1997) sees family planning as the provision of birth prevention information services and appliances.
It also involves teaching men and women about their bodies and teaching them how to prevent births usually with contraceptives but sometimes also with abortion or sterilization. This means men and women need to know more about their bodies and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. And this could only be by implementing any form of family planning. Childbearing and contraceptive use are among the most important reproductive health decision that many have to make (Gertner, 2009). Family decision and choices are most likely to meet these decisions based on accurate, relevant information, and are medically appropriate, that is, when they are informed choices (Gertner, 2009).There have been a lot of campaigns on the use of family planning and reduction of population from country to country especially in Nigeria. Even at that, a study by NPC (2009) indicates that contraceptive use is still low in many developing countries.
Over the past four decades, there have been numerous publications on contraceptives and other family planning methods. While culture, poverty and poor access have been widely understood as militating against their use (CDC, 2000; Leke, 2000; USAID, 2008; and NPC), studies presenting women’s self identified barriers are relatively few. Much attention is given to eliciting clients’ knowledge and utilization gaps regarding family planning methods, but specific attention to eliciting their knowledge gaps regarding the benefits of family planning is often deficient. Yet, identifying women’s self-reported barriers and benefits is central to any intervention to promote their use especially in Family planning could further entail making decisions on the number of children couples want to have by using different methods to achieve that, ranging from contraceptives to use of condoms, male and female sterilization among others. (CDC, 2000; USAID, 2008). Reshma (2015) adds that, other factors such as culture, low education, poverty and poor access to information on contraceptive are among other numerous reasons that have been identified by scholars to militate against the use of family planning methods.
Basically, there are two major methods of family planning—the traditional and modern methods. Attempts to control increase in population started from the early men when they practiced coitus interruptus (Withdrawal method) during sex. Therefore, birth control is as old as man himself. Evidence from medical history indicates that our forefathers did space their children through traditional means. Before the introduction of modern methods, Africans had methods of fertility regulation. Nigerian culture includes many myths, rituals, and the use of herbs in attempts to regulate women’s fertility. Although, many of these traditional methods had no harmful effects on a woman’s health, but some did. Besides, the complete effectiveness of these methods couldn’t be ascertained, because some women still got pregnant despite the use of these methods.
Contrarily, the introduction of the modern methods have helped women around the world to avoid about 400 million unwanted pregnancies, reducing high risk pregnancies and ultimately reducing the number of maternal deaths jeffer (2020). The practices of modern contraceptive methods offer many advantages in health and economy of the couple and the country. The primary aim of family planning enables women and men to plan their families and space their children through the use of modern contraceptives. However, family planning also embraces activities such as infertility and genetic counseling, contraception, abortion and sterilization.
Family planning programs, policies and methods have become increasingly important in the last decade as a result of the socio-economic problems influencing rapid population growth, as well as public health problems, especially control of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS Obasi (2021). There is evidence based on many studies which show that these programs are jointly responsible for improvement in the quality of family life, directly benefiting the health of women and children and is the most cost effective intervention to lowering fertility.
Traditional values also play a big role in family planning acceptance and decision, as many cultures and traditions support giving birth to as many children as possible. Some see it as a thing of pride. In places like “Jesse” Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta state, a man with many children is regarded as a strong and rich man as such family planning acceptance is very minimal (Suntai and Apuke 2016). Traditional values feature prominently because the cultural valuation of children is evident in studies which indicate that, among Nigerians, “having fewer than five surviving children negatively affected the use of family planning methods” (Lawoyin et al, 2002) . Although, the Practice of traditional birth control method in rural communities in Nigeria dates back to the oldest rural settlement, but the introduction of modern family planning method is a recent development. Studies have shown that there is generally low level of acceptance of modern contraceptives in Nigeria (Orji, et al. 2007). Against this backdrop, the study seeks to assess the attitude of married women in Jalingo metropolis of Nigeria on family planning
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Family planning has attracted global attention due to its importance in decision making about population growth and development issues. Contraceptive use is still low in many developing countries, including Nigeria, where 23.7% of currently married women had ever used one. Despite, the campaign on the usefulness of family planning in having smaller and healthier family, studies by NPC (2009) and Adeleye et al., (2010) indicate that contraceptive use is still low in many developing countries. Over the past four decades, there have been numerous publications on contraceptives and other family planning methods. Adeleye et al., (2010) outline culture, poverty and poor access to some of the factors militating against the use and acceptance of family planning. Therefore, the acceptance and use of family planning among married women in Nigeria has become a contentious problem. Married women tend to give birth to many children forgetting the importance and benefit of family planning. Other factors that contribute to this could be ignorance, illiteracy, African traditional values and norms, husband dominance among others.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of the study is to examine the knowledge, attitude and practices of women towards family planning services.
Specifically, the study aims
- To examine the sources of awareness of family planning among married women in Jalingo.
- To determine the knowledge of family planning methods among married women in Jalingo Local Government Area.
- To explore the factors militating against married women’s acceptance of family planning.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will be answered by the study
- What is the sources of awareness of family planning among married women in Jalingo ?
- What is the level of the knowledge of family planning methods among married women in Jalingo Local Government Area ?
- What are the factors militating against married women’s acceptance of family planning ?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The present study postulates the following null hypotheses which were tested at .05 level of significance.
Ho1: There is no statistically significant difference between the attitude of young and old women of reproductive age towards family planning methods.
1.6 Significance of the study
Studies such as the 2008 NDHS have revealed that the contraceptive use prevalence is very low in Nigeria which includes Kaduna State, hence it becomes important to study the knowledge, attitudes and practise of natural family planning among couples in the Kaduna metropolis so as to provide useful knowledge directed at controlling high birthrate and to avoid the problems associated with over population. Also, there is evidence that natural family planning methods like the rhythm methods can equally be useful in checking fertility rate and it has actually been in used by couples in developed countries like the USA (Mosher and Goldscheider, 1988). So couples around these areas too will benefit from such knowledge in their practice of natural family planning by providing them with evidence based information on the right skills to be applied in the practise of natural family planning for effective fertility regulation.
Although, there are religions dimensions for its usage. Other studies such as Sherry et al (2010) also have shown that most physicians underestimate the effectiveness of natural family planning and only few of them provide information about natural family planning contraceptive counseling. Physician need better understanding of modern methods of natural family planning to provide evidence based contraceptive counseling to selected highly motivated patients who prefer natural family planning as a contraceptive (Sherry et al, 2010). It is hoped that the study results will come up with useful information that will help physician in these areas of providing contraceptive counseling to patients.
The study results will also help policy makers and programme planners determine what issues need to be stressed in the design of future family planning awareness campaign in Nigeria and used as reference materials by population planners for studying fertility related problems, as a reference material for further study in family planning. Educational programmes will find such knowledge about couples involvement at family planning issues very useful in their campaigns for effective fertility regulation which before now is mainly based on women. The study include couples involvement in programmes targeted to encourage the practice of natural family planning, such information is useful for policy workers in family planning programmes through the propagation of a vigorous public awareness campaign. The study will also contribute to knowledge, and form a basis through which other studies can proceed.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study revolves around issues such as the knowledge, attitude and practice of family planning married women in Jalingo Local Government Area. The research is focused on married women in Jalingo Local Government Area. The study seeks to address such issues as the couples level of awareness of natural family planning methods, their attitudes towards the practice of family planning and how they practise it, the extent of gender and spousal involvement and the challenges couples encounter in their use of family planning methods. So based on the findings of the study, recommendations can be made to encourage or discourage the practise of family planning among couples.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This research work is specifically on the knowledge, attitude and practices of women towards family planning services. In the limitation on research work of this magnitude or nature can be carried out without limitation.
Hence, during the course, certain constraints were encountered.
The cost of thorough research is not what can be afforded by a student. The prices of materials needed for this work has gone up and transport fee has also gone up.
The time was one of the limitations in the process of carrying out this research work.
Scarcity of Literature:
The research encountered some problems in collection of literature especially on the bank History and operations. This are hindered the smooth running of this work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Attitude refers to inclinations to react in a certain way to certain situations; to see and interpret events according to certain predispositions, or to organize opinions into coherent and interrelated structure (Bankowski and Bryant, 1985). Attitude in relation to 11 the study refers to the views and opinions of the couples or research respondents on natural family planning methods. Whether they find it acceptable or not; whether they support, like and encourage it or not.
According to Bankowski and Bryant (1985), knowledge is the capacity to acquire, retain and use information, a mixture of comprehension, experience, discernment and skill. Knowledge within the context of this study refers to what the research subjects know about natural family planning, it comprises how they first come to be aware about natural family planning and the various methods of natural family planning.
Natural Family Planning:
Refers to fertility regulation methods based on the understanding of the body mechanism without the use of any artificial means.
1.10 Organisations of the Study
The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.
The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
This chapter summarizes the findings on the knowledge, attitude and practices of women towards family planning services, married women in Jalingo Local Government as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was on the knowledge, attitude and practices of women towards family planning services, married women in Jalingo Local Government as case study. The study is was specifically focused on examining the sources of awareness of family planning among married women in Jalingo; determining the knowledge of family planning methods among married women in Jalingo Local Government Area and to explore the factors militating against married women’s acceptance of family planning.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 200 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are married women in Jalingo Local Government.
With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;
This study explored the knowledge of married women in Jalingo Local Government on family planning. The study reveals that there is a high knowledge of family planning among women in the study area but they do not practice family planning as they tend to obey their husbands as postulated by the study that Husbands rejection of family planning makes the women to reject family planning. Other factors such as religious belief/creed also play a big part in making women in the area not to accept family planning.
Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made:
- Improvement in the delivery of family planning services to all parts of the state will help make its adoption more appealing. The inclusion of men as targets of family planning campaigns will have an important influence in its acceptance and usage. The findings of our study show that husbands exercise considerable influence on the women use of contraceptives.
- There should be more detailed information on specific methods since findings from the study showed that there is high awareness of family planning but some respondents lack knowledge of specific methods.
- There is a need to design education programme addressed at the men for the benefit of family planning and on the need for their involvement and to allow their wives to use contraceptives.
- Since knowledge of any specific method is a prerequisite for its use, there is a need for adequate campaign, especially through the mass media on contraceptives and to allay the fears of the populace on the negative effects of contraception.
- Men should be involved in the delivery of family planning services since men feel more comfortable discussing family planning issues with men than with women.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What factors influence women’s practice of family planning?
Factors associated with the practice of FP were: residence, marital status, educational status, age, occupation, and knowledge, and attitude, numb … The study showed that the overall proper knowledge, attitude and practice of women towards family planning (FP) was 42.3%, 58.8%, and 50.4% respectively.
What is the level of knowledge and attitude towards family planning?
In this study, the level of knowledge and attitude towards family planning was relatively low and the level of family planning utilization was quite low in comparison with many studies. Every health worker should teach the community on family planning holistically to increase the awareness so that family planning utilization will be enhanced.
How much do women really know about family planning?
The study showed that the overall proper knowledge, attitude and practice of women towards family planning (FP) was 42.3%, 58.8%, and 50.4% respectively.
Do women in Ethiopia have proper knowledge and attitude towards family planning?
To assess the knowledge and attitude regarding family planning and the practice of family planning among the women of reproductive age group in South Achefer District, Northwest Ethiopia, 2017. The study showed that the overall proper knowledge, attitude and practice of women towards family planning (FP) was 42.3%, 58.8%, and 50.4% respectively.