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Family Planning Attitude and Practice Amongst Male Doctors in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria

H.E. Onah, H.U. Ezegwui

Abstract


Objective: To determine the disposition of medical personnel to contraception in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria.

Methods: A questionnaire survey of the contraceptive attitude and practice of 386 male doctors practicing in Enugu and a comparison of these with those of a previous study of the general male population in Enugu.

Results: 73% of the male doctors compared to 90% of the general male population in Enugu approved of male contraception. 62.7% of the male doctors compared to 78% of the general male population used a contraceptive method. The main contraceptive methods used by the respondents were condoms (43.9%), periodic abstinence (34.7%) and coitus interruptus (6.5%) while more of the general male population and their consorts used the more effective artificial means of contraception the intrauterine contraceptive device, hormonal contraceptives and spermicides . The major reasons proffered for the contraceptive choice were prevention of sexually transmitted diseases in the case of condoms and reduced side effects in the case of the natural methods. Although 55.7% of the respondents favoured adolescent contraceptive use, 22.8% of these would not allow their adolescent children access to contraception. 75.6% of the respondents were against legalization of abortion as a back-up for contraceptive failure mainly on religious grounds and because it will increase promiscuity.

Conclusion: Although medical personnel in Nigeria have the potential to enhance not only contraceptive knowledge but also its acceptance amongst clients, they themselves are less favourably disposed to contraception than the general population. Family planning programmes in Nigeria and other developing countries need to recognize this limitation. Doctors, therefore, also need to be encouraged to use contraceptives.


Key Words Family Planning, Attitude, practice, doctors, Enugu


[Jnl College of Medicine Vol.7(2) 2002: 108-110]



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