This study was carried out to determine the knowledge, perception and attitude of family planning (FP) among women of child bearing age in a community in south-south Nigeria. This research work deals with the types of contraceptive methods, importance of family planning and the benefits of family planning. The subjects were selected using simple random sampling.

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This study was carried out to determine the knowledge, perception and attitude of family planning (FP) among women of child bearing age in a community in south-south Nigeria. This research work deals with the types of contraceptive methods, importance of family planning and the benefits of family planning.  The subjects were selected using simple random sampling.  A total of 100 questionnaires were administered to subjects of the target population which was selected from women that visited Ekiti State teaching hospital. The study area was selected through multi-stage sampling method. All consenting women of child bearing age in alternate households were selected until the sample size of 358 was achieved. Data obtained was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17. Frequencies were generated and Chi-square test was used to explore associations. Level of significance was set at 0.05.

A total of 338 questionnaires were retrieved. About 45.9% of the respondents were aged 15-25 years, 136 (40.2%) were married and 17 (5.0%) had no form of formal education. Majority, 299 (88.5%) had heard of FP and the commonest source of information was clinic, 112 (37.5%). The most commonly mentioned FP were injectable, 134 (44.8%) and pills, 81 (27.1%) respectively. Up to 114 (33.8%) had a negative attitude towards FP. A total of 143 (42.3%) respondents used a FP method. The commonest were pills, 39 (27.3%) and injectable, 36 (25.2%). Fear of side effect was the most frequently given reason by 89 (45.6%) for non-use of FP. There was a significantly positive association between educational qualification and use of FP methods (<0.05).

Though the knowledge of family planning methods was high among the women in this study, their use was relatively poor. Adequate health education should be carried out by health workers to dispel fears and encourage higher contraceptive use among women of child bearing age. Female education and male involvement are also advocated.


    1.0                                                               INTRODUCTION

1.1                                                    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Family planning practices help individuals or couples to avoid unwanted pregnancies, regulate the intervals between pregnancies, control the time of birth in relation to the age of the parents and determine the number of children in the family.

Family planning as the name implies is having children by choice and not by chance; it is the process of having specific number of children at intervals acceptable by individuals or couples, to promote the health and welfare of the family.  Family planning is not a new idea all over the world and also applies to women in Ekiti state university teaching hospital.  Throughout the ages, individuals and families have tried to regulate their fertility either by using herbs, abstinence during ovulation, prolonged breast feeding and living with parent in-laws to avoid sex or polygamy.

Historically, most communities in Ekiti in the past used to have policies that encourage large population.  Traditionally, in Africa, the low level of economic development and heavy reliance on agriculture have brought about several factors that encourage high fertility.

In addition, according to Namboze J.M.E. (1985), religious and cultural traditions favour large families because children are expected to help their parents financially and to ensure a kind of family immortality by continuity of the family name.

African women traditionally have played major roles in agricultural production, though their primary roles are that of wives and mothers having limited right as subordinates to the males in the household.  The status of women is further eroded by the practice of polygamy because they have limited opportunities.  At the societal level, child bearing is therefore an important way for them to gain status through the number of children raised.

Children are also needed for labour in the farm and a potential old age security which they provide in later life, especially for their mothers because women are often denied inheritance right or forfeit right to use land upon death of husband; and they need children especially sons to ensure that someone cares for them in their old age.  Also, a man’s health and integrity are often determined by the number of wives and children he has and since the African religion was highly practiced, it was believed that ancestors are expected to reincarnate through childbirth as descendents.

Women have come to see that cooking, house keeping chores combined with making a living, bearing and raising children are arduous tasks and gradually retards the health of both mother and children.  Today, many parents have realized that having a large family may bring difficulty in feeding, clothing and providing good education for them all.  In 1956, family planning was introduced by a body of elites in Ekiti state due to the alarming rate of abandoned children resulting from teenage pregnancy, criminal abortions and death.  This group of elite formed a body known as the marriage guidance counselors which later liaised with the international Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN).

In 1958, Dr. Adeyemi Jones started the first family planning clinic in Ibadan but it did not last due to lack of funds.  In 1959, the Family Planning Council of Nigeria was formed while later it became the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN).  Since the vastness of child bearing has gradually led to population explosion, many individuals and organizations have complained and said that parents should cut down their family size and have made family planning an issue of moral, social and political considerations.  Such agencies include the International Planned Parenthood Association, the Pathfinder Fund, International Training for Health Programme, World Health Organization, etc.

The ancient knowledge was incorporated into writing of scientific doctors and was of scientific basis for contraception up to the late 17th century.  From this, it should be noted that contraception had a place in the days of old as a means of preserving the health of the child and mother.

However, when compared with the modern contraceptives some of this traditional methods appear strange in their preparations and applications.  It is via intensive research that the modern methods of birth control emerged in an attempt to minimize complications, develop effective and non-injurious, convenient, reliable, enjoyable, easily accessible and also able to meet the needs of individuals and couples.

In this study, therefore, attempts shall be made to find out what women in Ekiti state teaching hospital understand about the concept of family planning, methods of contraception commonly practiced, specifically, finding out about the effect of education, income, religion, culture, age, health, as they influence the attitude of women towards family planning; dealing extensively with the importance and benefits of family planning.

1.2                                                           PROBLEM STATEMENT

Various individuals, national and international organizations such as the World Health Organization, Population Reference Bureau, etc, have cried out over the dangers associated with population explosion and have equally suggested that couples cut down their family size.

Depreciating standard of living, inadequate facilities due to increase in population demands are also part of the issues that plague our society.  From the observation, this research is an attempt to study the factors that influence the attitude of women towards family planning.

1.3                                                               AIM OF THE STUDY

To assess the knowledge perception and attitude regarding family planning and the practice of family planning among the women in Ekiti state university teaching hospital.

1.4                                                       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

At the end of this study the following shall be known:

i.             The meaning of family planning

ii.           In this study different method of family planning shall be discussed.

iii.          In this study, the level of knowledge perception and attitude towards family planning shall be known.

iv.          The level of family planning utilization among women in Ekiti state university teaching hospital shall be known.

1.5                                                     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research will be of benefit to women and the society at large.  They will again a lot from the facts contained in this project work.  It is envisaged that this research work will further assist the growth, development, expansion and awareness of family planning and its importance to the society at large.

This study will serve as a guide to every health worker in that it will motivate them to teach the community on family planning holistically to increase the awareness so that family planning utilization will be enhanced. This study will also help in the investigation of the different reasons affecting the non-utilizing of family planning and how these can be addressed. To women, this study will open their eyes to the need for family planning.

To also make recommendations that will alleviate the identified mistaken notions that affect the practice of family planning.

1.6                                                               PURPOSE OF STUDY

The purpose of this study is to carry out a survey on the influence of education, age, culture, religion, income and health on the attitude of women towards family planning.

1.7                                                             RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In dealing with this research topic, various problems were identified and research questions were drawn.  They are:

  1. Does education influence the attitude of women towards family planning?
  2. Does the health of women influence the attitude of women towards family planning?
  3. Does culture influence the attitude of women towards family planning?
  4. Does income influence the attitude of women towards family planning?
  5. Does the age of women influence their attitude towards family planning?
  6. Does religion influence the attitude of women towards family planning?

1.8                                                   DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study is limited to the women in Ekiti state university teaching hospital.  It does not intend to judge the efficiency of family planning, but to find out what influences the attitude of women towards family planning.  It does not cover treatment of side effects or failures of the methods.

1.9                                                         DEFINITION OF TERMS

Family Planning:        This implies the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their birth.

Contraception:   Method and practice of preventing conception is the fertilization of an ovum.

Menstruation:    The monthly elimination of the blood filled lining of the uterus (womb), which takes about four to five days, depending on individual physiology.

Ovulation:          The release of ripe egg cells from the ovary about once a month.

Vasectomy:         Cutting of the vascle ferens through which the sperms reach the penis, so that they are not ejaculated.

Tubalization:     Cutting of the female fallopian tube so that egg cells cannot enter the uterus.

1.10                                            RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In the course of carrying this study, numerous sources were used which most of them are by visiting libraries, consulting journal and news papers and online research which Google was the major source that was used.

1.11                                             STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY

The work is organized as follows: chapter one discuses the introductory part of the work, chapter two presents the literature review of the related works, chapter three describes laws and institutional framework for the protection of right of domestic servants, chapter four discusses protection of the rights of domestic servants, chapter five is on summary of findings, conclusion and recommendation.


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