Factors influencing utilization of Natural Family Planning among Child Bearing Women in Chilonga Northern Province Zambia
Objectives: The study sought to determine factors influencing utilization of Natural Family Planning (NFP) among child bearing women in Chilonga Catchment area. The literature review was mainly obtained from studies conducted globally, regionally and Zambia inclusively. Literature review revealed that information concerning the use of NFP method in Zambia is poor.
Methods: A cross sectional study was done in five health posts of Chilonga Catchment area between July to November 2010. Systemic random sampling was used with a sampling interval of 1: 5. Mothers coming for under five and antenatal clinics were interviewed. A total of 425 questionnaires were issued. Of these 411 were successfully utilized which gave a dropout rate of 3%.Teachers trained in NFP method were purposively selected into the study for Focus Group Discussions (FGD) that is 10 per FGD. Total number of teachers selected were 20. Data was collected using a structured interview schedule comprising of open ended and closed ended questions .The study sought to answer the research question: What are the factors influencing utilization or non-utilization of NFP among child bearing women in Chilonga? The study was analysed using SPSS version 17.0 and content analysis. Chi-square was used to determine the association of between categorical variables. The findings have been presented using frequency tables and cross tabulations.
Results: The majority (74%) of the respondents had heard of NFP method, though 26% had never heard of it. However, of the total, 58.4% did not know any method of NFP. Ever-used NFP was 50.4%, Current use of family planning (FP) was 38.4 % and most of the respondents (67.9 %) were in favour of NFP. Contraceptive pills were the commonest method in use 27.0% followed by NFP 23.6 %. There was no significant association between FP use and desired number of children (÷2 = 9.530; p > 0.023). There was also no significant association between FP use and education status (÷2 = 0.263; p > 0.005).
Conclusion: The majority of the respondents (72.8%) wanted to have more than 4-10 children. This means they did not know what impact large families will have on the poverty stricken households. There is some ignorance about NFP methods. They are more used to artificial harmful methods of Family Planning. Therefore, there is need to intensify Health Education in this area.
Keywords: Abstinence, Couple, Determinants, Family Planning (FP), Fertility, Fertile period, Intraspousal communication, Knowledge, Utilization