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Background of the Study
Family planning is one of the most important interventions in reproductive healthcare as it contributes to the improvement of the health of women and children, through provision of safe and effective means to reduce the number of births and high-risk pregnancies. It is a combination of accepted techniques of modern preventive medicine used to ensure that pregnancy and childbirth occur at accepted time, (Olaitan, 2013). The main goal of birth control is that every child arrives as planned and at wanted period. Inspite of efforts towards fertility control, there remains a substantial proportion of women in the reproductive age group (15 – 49 years) who are using family planning methods even though they do not want a pregnancy. About two – thirds of women of reproductive age (15 – 49 years), are at risk of unintended pregnancy (Rosenstock, 2014).
The rate at which the world population is growing creates a great concern to the international community. It is for this reason that the United Nations held a number of conferences to discuss the means to control world population growth. The most influential conference was the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo; the conference reached an agreement on the urgent need to control global population growth. Among others, the 20 years ICPD Program of Action declared family planning use as one of the critical approaches to be initiated by United Nations member states as a way of regulating world population. Different member states were urged to promote and make access to family planning a priority for the purpose of regulating world population growth (Olaitan, 2011).
In most African Countries, the birth rate remain high and only few couples limit their family sizes because children are seen as valuable in the society. The benefits of family planning cannot be over emphasis as Maja, Ehlers and King (2012), have rightly said that family planning improves the survival and health of both mothers and children. They further said that family planning enables the parents to plan and have sound economic bases for their upbringing, education and environmental care of their children.
In Nigeria like other African countries, the population growth rate is alarming and it citizens struggle for the available limited resources. This population growth has led to many problems in the country that is why Bogarts, (2008), reported in his work that this growth had led to overpopulation which in turns brings problems such as unemployment, poverty, inadequate food, water supply, and inadequate housing among others. Bogarts added that, lack of family planning as one of the factors responsible for these growth has also led to increased maternal and infant morbidity especially in developing countries. Family planning and its accessibility to women may reduce maternal and infant morbidity because no woman will resort to dangerous illegal abortion in order to control tier fertility.
There are many types of family planning methods which have so far been developed for the purpose of preventing conception starting from traditional method to the modern day method. In the past, our forefathers and mothers have applied several methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies to planning the size of their family. As the world population developed, so did the methods of family planning became modified and refined for effective planning of the family (Ryder, 2014).
With the emergence of the modern family planning methods, a lot of public enlightenment through radio, television and other means were made with the aim of creating awareness about the new methods and enhance encourage practice. There are so many structures on ground by the government to control birth but despite all these efforts, it was observed that the goal and purpose of modern family planning were defeated due to many factors. For one reason or the other, more than half child bearing women refused to turn up at the family planning clinics because of different misconception (Riddle, 2012). Against this background, this study seeks to determine the significance of family planning in female of child bearing age (15-45 years) progesterone (Injectable only).
Statement of the Problem
Birth control as an umbrella under which several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or interrupt pregnancy at various stages are underutilized. Most of the countries with lowest rates of contraceptive use, highest maternal, infant, and child mortality rates, and highest fertility rates are in Africa (Rowland, 2009). Only about 30% of all women use birth control, although over half of all African women would like to use birth control if it was available (WHO, 2012).
Modern methods of family planning ensure that a family has only the number of children they desire to have so that they can conveniently take care of them. Family planning helps improve the physical and emotional health of the mother, the children and the entire family which will lead to more productive labour force for national development.
It has been observed in Abwa Mbagen Community that women of childbearing age attending antenatal clinic usually appear in the clinics with malnourished children and most of the time with pregnancy interval of less than two years indicating poor utilization of family planning services (Garba, 2010). Some of the reasons given by the women and some observers are ignorance, lack of cooperation of the spouse, poverty and lack of access to the services which hinders the acceptance of family planning service among the women of childbearing in Abwa Mbagen Community of Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State.
Purpose of the Study
The objectives of the this study is to determine the acceptance level of family planning methods among women of reproductive age in Abwa Mbagen Community of Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State. Specific purposes include:-
i. To determine the level of awareness of the women about modern methods of family planning.
ii. To determine the availability of the modern methods of family planning.
iii. To determine the level of acceptance of family planning methods among the women of child bearing age in the study area.
iv. To identify factors that influences the use of modern family planning methods by the women of child bearing age in Abwa Mbagen Community of Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State.
Significance of the Study
This study when completed will be of benefits to Health Care Providers, women of child bearing age and government.
This study will help individual to know different methods of family planning available for their use and benefit of those methods which will help reduce maternal and child mortality in the area.
The result will also assist the health care providers with adequate information about problems associated with reproductive health which will serve as basis for health education, counseling and advocacy programmes on reproductive health. This will help in eradicating ignorance about family planning, prevention of obstetric complications like criminal abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, improvement in maternal and child health, reduction in population reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity and reduction in poverty and hunger in the community.
The findings of this study will provide the government with necessary information on how to put strong family planning policies that will help improve maternal and child health in the area, reduce maternal and child mortality or morbidity, reduce poverty and improve general wellbeing of the people.
Finally, it will help reduce the health problems of the country and reduces the cost of health care services for obstetric related problems in the country as well as improve resources for other sectors in the country.
The study seeks to answer the following research questions.
i. What is the level of awareness of the women about modern methods of family planning?
ii. What methods of family planning are available to women of child bearing age in the study area?
iii. What is the level of acceptance of the family planning methods among women of child bearing age in Abwa Mbagen Community of Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State?
iv. What are the factors that influence the use of modern methods of family planning among the women of childbearing age in Abwa Mbagen Community of Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State?
Scope of the Study
This research work is on the acceptance level of family planning methods among women of reproductive age in Abwa Mbagen Community of Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State. It covers women of childbearing age in Abwa Mbagen Community. The study investigated the women’s awareness about family planning, availability of the family planning services, accessibility, its acceptance and what factors influence the use of family planning services among the women.
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