Barriers to family planning acceptance in Abakaliki, Nigeria
Introduction: Family planning is very important and confers huge benefits to the woman, her family and country. It helps reduce maternal morbidity and mortality among other benefits. In spite of these obvious benefits of and the huge expenditure on it, uptake by women continues to be very low. We conducted this study to find out the reasons for this low uptake in our practice environment.
Methodology: This is a cross sectional study where structured pre-tested questionnaires were administered to women in Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State from February to April 2015.
Results: Of the 354 questionnaires administered, 330 (93.2%) were complete and used for analysis. Majority of the respondents, 285 (86.4%) were in the 26 to 30 years age bracket. All of them were Ibos. Sixty two(18.8%) of the participants had one of their pregnancies unplanned and 19(5.7%) had at least one of their pregnancies unwanted. Though 300 (90.9%) had heard of family planning and was aware of it, only 180(54.5%) had used a family planning method before with majority, 105(58.2%) using natural family planning method. Only 22.7% of the participants was using a family planning method at the time of the study. In majority of the women, 166(50.3%) ,their fears about family planning was the troublesome side effects followed by 110(33.3%) whose husbands objected to their using family planning. Twenty seven women (8.2%) respectively did not use family planning because it is against their culture and religion.
Conclusion: Though some progress have been made in family planning, a lot more will be achieved if new programmes are designed to involve the men more actively and address other identified fears among women with regards to family planning.
Keywords: Abakaliki; barrier; family planning acceptance; Nigeria