Economic recession and family planning uptake: Review of a Nigerian health institution
Introduction: Family planning has been considered a “best buy” among health investments in terms of improving healthier and more economically stable societies. Uptake has, however, remained low in sub‑Saharan Africa. This study assessed a 5‑year trend in contraceptives uptake at the family planning clinic of a Southwest tertiary health institution in Nigeria during an economic recession.
Materials and Methods: This was a 5‑year retrospective review of 2552 hospital records for family planning clients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital from 15 August 2011 to 31 August 2016 compiled from the clinic register quantitatively. Data entry and analysis were conducted using SPSS version 20.0. A test of significance was used to determine association between variables and level of significance set at P < 0.05. Ethical approval was sought from the hospital authorities before commencement of the study.
Results: The highest proportion of new acceptors of contraceptives was in the year 2013 (24.8%) followed by a gradual decline. Unemployment rate among the respondents was 8.5%. Despite a distinct preference for some long‑acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), namely, intrauterine contraceptive device (45.0%), followed by implants (43.3%), there was significantly less preference for hormonal LARCs such as implants with increasing age.
Conclusion: The study findings are counter‑cyclical, in that economic recession seemed to reduce contraceptive usage with a potential of increasing fertility in Lagos, Nigeria, which could result in further increase in population size and its sequelae. Multidimensional efforts are required to improve contraceptive coverage to reduce the already overstrained resources.
Keywords: Contraceptive; economic recession; family planning; Lagos
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