Family Planning Knowledge,Attitudes and Practices of Married Men: A Cross-Sectional Study in Lusaka District,Zambia
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Background: Family planning is a key component of reproductive health and is one of the effective interventions in reducing maternal and infant mortality. Despite family planning activities having started in the 1960s in Zambia, the contraceptive utilization rate is only 34.2%. One of the reasons for the non-usage of family planning methods by married women is opposition from husbands.Objectives: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding family planning among married men, to compare in which ways and to what extent they differ from their wives, and its implications for future family planning programmes.Design: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study. A questionnaire involving both closed-and-open-ended questions was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data Setting: Low, medium and high density residential areas of Lusaka district, Zambia Subjects: The study included 280 married couples who were interviewed using a structured questionnaire.Results: About 97.9% of married men and 97.5% of their wives knew about family planning. Most of the men (82.4%) approved of family planning whilst only 7.0%disapproved. These findings were comparable to those of their wives (83.4% and 8.9% respectively). Men’s desire for more children (50.4%) was greater than that of their wives(14.3%), but their ideal family size was the same, at 3.9 children. About 64.5% of married men were using a method of family planning at the time of the study. Education was strongly associated with attitude and practice of contraception (p= 0.002 and p<0.0001 respectively). Socio-economic status was also strongly associated with contraceptive use (p= 0.004). Conclusion: Family planning awareness and approval rates among married men are high. Their contraception use is, however, lower than expected though it is higher than the national level. Men are more interested in family planning than often assumed, but they need more information and education regarding family planning in order to further increase the contraceptive utilization rate.