Role of men in contraceptive use in Northern Nigeria: A cross sectional study
Background: Men take most or all important decisions in the home in most African societies and this includes contraception. It is therefore important that their role in this issue be investigated in our setting.
Objectives: The objectives of this study are to directly determine the role of men in contraceptive use or non-use in the Zaria area of northern Nigeria, to indirectly increase the awareness of contraception amongst men and hopefully improve their contraceptive practice.
Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study involving 900 men. Multistage sampling technique was used to select respondents. Trained male interviewers administered the questionnaires. Focus group discussions and an in-depth interview were also conducted.
Results: Six hundred and seven (67.4%) of the men knew about contraception. Three hundred and thirty seven (37.4%) may use contraceptives if need be and 230 (25.6%) presently used contraception. If their wife/wives used contraceptives without their permission, 277 (30.8%) would scold her, 165 (18.3%) would beat her, 144 (16%) would divorce her, 128 (14.2%) would report to family members and 106 (11.8%) would do nothing. Focus group discussions and in-depth interview showed a high awareness rate and willingness to discuss contraception, but a
reluctance to practice it.
Conclusion: There was a high level of awareness but a low level of contraceptive use amongst men in the environment. This has important implications for the success of contraceptive campaigns and programmes.
Efforts need to be continued to encourage men in the setting to be more proactive towards contraception. Regular periodic surveys are necessary to help in the planning of educational and campaign programmes.
Keywords: Contraception, men, role, awareness, practice, education
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