Awareness, Use, and Unmet Need for Family Planning in Rural Northern Nigeria

  • Henry V Doctor
  • Sally E Findley
  • Godwin Y Afenyadu
  • Charles Uzondu
  • Garba M Ashir


Access to quality reproductive health and family planning services remain poor in Nigeria. We present results on family planning awareness and use from a survey of 3,080 women (age 15-49 years) in Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, and Zamfara States. About 43.0% had heard of any method of contraception whereas 36.6% had heard of any modern method. Overall, 7.0% of all currently married women reported ever using a method of contraception; 4.4% used a modern method and 2.9% used a traditional method. Only 1.3% of women in union (currently married or cohabiting) used modern contraception methods at the time of the survey; 1.3% of women in union used traditional methods. Unmet need for family planning was 10.3%. Low family planning use in the presence of low awareness and low felt need suggests, among other things, a need to increase awareness and uptake and make family planning commodities available.

Keywords: contraception; family planning; fertility; maternal health; Nigeria

(Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[4]: 107-117)

Author Biographies

Henry V Doctor
Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Population and Family Health, 60 Haven Avenue - B2, New York, NY 10032, USA; Operations Research Advisor, PRRINN-MNCH Program, Abia State House, Abuja, Nigeria
Sally E Findley
Professor of Population and Family Health
Godwin Y Afenyadu
Health Systems Research Manager, PRRINN-MNCH Program, Nassarawa GRA, Kano, Nigeria
Charles Uzondu
Operations Research Coordinator, PRRINN-MNCH Program, Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria
Garba M Ashir
Operations Research Coordinator, PRRINN-MNCH Program, Dutse, Jigawa State, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1118-4841