Knowledge, attitude and practice of family planning among women of reproductive age at Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba
Background and Objective:
Family-planning services are used as tool for promoting family health and specifically for reducing maternal morbidity and mortality by preventing unwanted and high-risk pregnancies. To this end, the services target women with serious underlying medical problems, grand multipara, couples who have achieved their desired family size, sexually active teenagers and any others who need or wish to avoid pregnancy. Promotion of family planning has been shown to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and infant mortality, and contribute to women’s empowerment. In spite of the obvious merits and advocacy by government and development patterns on the benefits of family planning, acceptance of modern contraceptives have remained low in Nigeria. 87% of women in Nigeria or their partners do not use modern or traditional contraceptives. The present study is aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of family planning among women of reproductive age and to reveal and respond adequately to the observed factors of this subject so that we can engage in a reference assessment of the factors affecting the above service.
The methods of collection of data were by self-administered and interviewer administered questionnaire depending on the level of literacy of each individual. The questionnaire also contained closed- and open- ended questions, which made it a semi- structured questionnaire.
The respondents included Patients presenting at the different clinics, health workers, and students of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, who were all selected randomly.
Consent forms were gotten from department of Community Medicine to obtain permission from respondents.
The sample size calculated was 300.
300 women of reproductive age participated in the survey. Among them 175 were aged 15-24 (60.1%), 90 were aged 25-34 (30.9%). 19 were aged 35-44 (6.3%), and 7 were aged 45-49 (2.3%).
As regards the options of family planning the respondents were aware of, majority i.e 52 (18.3%) were aware of total abstinence, 39 (13.7%) of calendar method, 27 (9.5%) of cervical mucus method, 45 (15.8%) of withdrawal method, 33 (11.65) of condoms, 13 (4.6%) of spermicides, 10 (3.5%) of IUCD, 11 of pills (3.9%), 5 (1.8%) of injectable contraceptives, 4 (1.4%) of implants, 4 (1.4%) of tubal ligation, and only 1 (0.4%) of vasectomy.
Generally, it is drawn from this research that 114(38.1%) women have good knowledge about family planning while 185 (61.9%) have poor knowledge of family planning.
The linkage between the level of education and the attitude towards family planning was clear, showing the need to strengthen our approaches in health education to reach the uneducated if there must be an improvement in knowledge, attitude, and practice of family planning.
These factors must be of significance to maternal health, as any impact to the use of family planning services is also an impact on maternal health.
Though cultural and religious beliefs have been identified as negative influences to the use of family planning services, there remains a need to have a more in-depth study with the purpose of assessing the factors responsible for the poor subscription to family planning services.