Contextual Issues Affecting the Use of Contraceptives among Women in the Offinso District, Ghana

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The negative effect of high fertility rate on women and their children, and the benefits of fertility control are well known. Too many or too closely spaced pregnancies, and pregnancies of a woman at too young or too old an age, give rise to health risks for mothers and the infant, with associated higher maternal and neonatal mortality rates. The health of other children in the family is also affected. These factors, among others provide health rationale for fertility regulation and family planning, which is now considered an essential element of preventive health care. A descriptive study with a cross sectional design was conducted. The study was to assess the extent to which prospective users perceived and were influenced by local factors in using contraceptive and also to examine the contextual factors that had facilitated the consistently low contraceptive coverage in the Offinso District. Three-hundred-and-thirty women who were in their reproductive age between 20-49 years were interviewed. Five healthcare providers from five sub-districts in the Offinso District were also interviewed. Focus group discussion guide was administered as well. The study period was from August to December 2008 The major findings were that ninety-six percent (96%) of the respondents had heard about family planning. Out of the 330 respondents interviewed, 316 had heard about FP methods, out of which 29% indicated that they had ever used FP. The reason accounting for the non-use of FP method included fear of infertility effect (38%) fear of side effect(22.8%) wanting a child(19.6%) and that it can be harmful(8.5%). Generally staff attitudes towards clients were found to be friendly. Out of the 92 clients who had ever used FP method,51% indicated that health staffs were very friendly ,26% said they were friendly and 23% not friendly. It is therefore recommended that there is the need for intensification of public education at the community level with major emphasis on the use of FP. FP should form part of the curriculum of social studies at the basic level .this would make it possible for the children to be introduced to FP at the early stage in their lives. FP centers should be established in the communities and to be manned by trained personnel to address the geographical accessibility to contraceptive use, The DHMT can make adequate use of the religious bodies especially Christians to teach women and their husbands about the need to use contraceptives.
A Dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Health Service Planning and Management.