The influence of male involvement on family planning use in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region of Ghana

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June, 2019
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Background: Family planning involves the processes, activities, and practices to space births and limit family size through the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Pregnancy is intended to occur by choice and not by chance. Family planning aims to assist couples and individuals at all ages to achieve their reproductive goals so as to improve their general reproductive health. Male involvement in the context of this study implies male support in decision taken on family planning issues and encouraging women in the service uptake. Data from the West Mamprusi District Health Directorate indicate low family acceptor rate over a three-year period as 7.3% for 2014, 4.3% in 2015 and 9.1% in 2016. The low coverage for family planning has been anecdotally attributed to poor males’ involvement. Aim: This study sought to determine male involvement and its influence on family planning use in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern region of Ghana. Materials and method: The study employed a cross-sectional design with quantitative approach to data collection to determine male involvement and its influence on family planning use in the West Mamprusi District. A structured questionnaire was used to gather data from 140 respondents by simple random sampling. Data was check for completeness and accuracy, and analyzed using STATA version 12.1 at a significant level of 5%. Results: Average age of males interviewed was 28.52(SD ±7.30), with over threequarters (87.1%) were married men and 83.8% had at least 4 children and 72.3% reported having intention for more children with major (41.3%) decision making regarding childbearing been determined by the husbands. Males’ patronage and involvement in family planning indicates 38.6% of men to have accessed family planning with their partners, and 35% said they were stigmatized when involved in xiii family planning with partner. Overall males knowledge of family planning was 58.5% and negative perceptions and attitude of men towards vasectomy was 37.5% and facilitators and barriers to males involvement in family planning include time factor (32.1%), stigmatization/gossip (19.8%), and shyness (16.1%), prohibited by religion (13.6%) and cost/lack of monies to access the services. Major barrier affecting males involvement was contraceptives side effect (82.1%) and cited side effects to include; abdominal pains/heavy menstrual flow (33.3%), delayed pregnancy/menstruation (22.9%), weight gain/obesity (13.3%) and dizziness/headache 12.4%. Associated socio-demographic determinants influencing males involvement in family planning were; age category (OR=2.55; 95%CI 0.97-6.65; p=0.05), educational level (OR=0.19; 95%CI 0.39-0.94; p=0.04) and occupation (OR=0.37; 95%CI 0.15-0.84; p=0.02). In conclusion males’ involvement in family planning was woefully low, with high awareness level and an average knowledge level of FP. Determinants of males’ involvement in family planning was found to involve men age, educational level and occupation.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi Ghana, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of a degree of Master of Public Health in Population and Reproductive Health.
Family planning, Northern region, Ghana, Male