The acceptance of family planning in the Tamale Metropolis

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Every minute of every day at least one woman dies from complications of pregnancy and child birth, more than 585,000 deaths every year 99% of this is from the developing countries. Family planning can prevent at least 25% of all maternal deaths by allowing women to delay motherhood. Family planning can prevent improve the health and survival of adolescent girls by allowing them to postponed childbearing. Globally, three quarters of the World population do not plan their families A cross sectional study using both quantitative and qualitative approaches was used in Tamale Metropolis to investigate family planning acceptance among couples of reproductive age group. The study also sought to find out if there were any power relations in deciding family planning, fertility preference of the couples and their knowledge and opinion about the subject. Among the 100 people sampled 19% had never heard of family planning. Among those who had heard about family planning, 87% of both male and female knew at least one modern method of contraception but many did not approve of it. 61% reported not discussing family planning with their partners. 40% of the sampled population was using contraception at the time of the interview. Frequencies and percentages showed men disapproval of family planning. Over 58% of the population disapproved of the use of contraceptives, though they have the knowledge. Women realized that males have a dominant role in the family and makes decisions regarding most family matters including family planning. So they go behind their husbands for family planning services. Socio-economic and cultural factors affect contraceptive use. Of 100 sampled, 17% are not using contraceptives for religious reasons and 15% are not using because of socio-cultural reasons. However, some men and women showed interest for family planning for economic reasons. The family planning acceptor rate was 40% from this study indicating that there is improvement in the practice of family planning among respondents. In the nutshell family planning practice is very low among couples in Tamale. It is recommended here that community gate keepers should join hands with the government to ensure the practice of family planning. Also, MHMT should work with PPAG, population council and others to ensure family planning practice.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of a Master Of Public Health Degree in Population of Reproductive Health, 2005