Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Family planning practices of rural community dwellers in cross River State, Nigeria

A.J. Etokidem, W Ndifon, J Etowa, E.F. Asuquo


Background: Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. Despite a high fertility rate of 5.5 per woman and a high population growth rate of 3.2%, Nigeria’s contraceptive prevalence is 15%, which is one of the lowest in the world. The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge of family planning and family planning preferences and practices of rural community women in Cross River State of Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 291 rural women. Convenience sampling method was used. The women were assembled in a hall and a semi-structured questionnaire was administered to every consenting woman until the sample size was attained. Data obtained from the study were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20 and presented in tables as frequencies and percentages as well as figures. Association between categorical variables was explored using chi-square test. Binary logistic regression was also performed to determine predictors of use of at least one family planning method at some point in time.

Results: Fifty (17.2%) respondents were using at least one family planning method. One hundred and ninety-eight (68.3%) respondents had used at least one family planning method at some point in time. Reasons given for not using any family planning method included “Family planning is against my religious beliefs” (56%); “it is against our culture” (43.8%); “I need more children” (64.9%); “my partner would not agree” (35.3%); “family planning does not work” (42.9%); “it reduces sexual enjoyment” (76%); and “it promotes unfaithfulness/infidelity” (59%). Binary logistic regression conducted to predict the use of at least one family planning method at some point in time using some independent variables showed that who makes the decision regarding family planning use was the strongest predictor of family planning use (OR = 0.567; 95% CI = 0.391–0.821). This suggests that family planning uptake is more likely when couples make a joint decision.

Conclusion: The proportion of respondents who were currently using at least one family planning method was low. The findings of this study suggest that family planning uptake would increase if couples make joint decisions in this regard.

Keywords: Birth control, contraception, contraceptives, family planning, population control
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