Family Planning Awareness, Perception, Utilization and Barriers among Women in Irepodun Local Government Area, Osun State, South-Western Nigeria
Background: Infant and maternal mortalities are still very high in Nigeria and other developing countries despite the proven effectiveness of family planning (FP) in curtailing them.
Objective: To determine the awareness, perception, utilization and barriers to the use of family planning among women of reproductive age in Irepodun Local Government Area (LGA) Osun State, South-Western Nigeria.
Methods: The study, carried out among women of reproductive age in Irepodun LGA, employed a cross-sectional descriptive design. A pre-tested, interviewer administered, semi-structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from 370 women who were recruited by multi-stage sampling method. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.
Results: Three hundred and sixty-two (97.8%) of the respondents were aware of family planning; 301 (83.1%) out of these had good perception while only 138 (38.1%) had good utilization of FP. The most important barriers to FP utilization among non-current users included spousal refusal 43(19.2%), health reasons 38 (17.0%) and religious reasons 34 (15.2%). Socio-demographic factors which significantly associated with contraceptive utilization among the respondents included: age (p=0.003), marital status (p< 0.001), educational status (p= 0.001) and occupation (p < 0.001)
Conclusions: Near universal awareness and good perception did not translate into good utilization of family planning among the women in Irepodun LGA, Osun State, Nigeria. Community based behavioural change communication programs aimed at encouraging spousal involvement and bridging the gap between FP perception and practice among women should be instituted in the LGA.
Key-words: family planning, perception, utilization, barriers, women of reproductive age, South-western Nigeria.