The reasons why women in Ndola Urban are not using Emergency Contraceptives
Mijere, Jenipher Mulenga Changala
MetadataShow full item record
The ability to determine when or even whether to have children is an extraordinarily important human right that benefits not only the individual woman, who is able to control her fertility, but also others. Family planning helps women protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies. Food and other resources are available in greater amounts for the family members when children are spaced and when the total family size is small. Teenage pregnancy rates are reduced. The government is committed to an active Family Planning policy and has taken measures to make available a broader range of contraceptive methods. Objectives: The objectives of the study were to determine factors associated with contraceptive use, to determine the cause of nonuse of emergency Contraceptives (EC), to determine the possible barriers which may be contributing to non use of EC and to determine needs for awareness campaigns among women of child bearing age (15-49) years. Design: Cross- sectional study Setting: Copperbelt Province Ndola urban Subjects: Women of childbearing age of 17-49 years (383) and health providers from government health centers (217). Main outcome measures: Reasons why women of child bearing age in Ndola urban are not using EC.Result: The key findings of the study included the following: Majority of clients 283 (73.9%) had adequate knowledge of common contraceptive methods used. While 103 (47.5%) of health providers had moderate knowledge. A total of 262 (68.4%) clients were on contraceptives of whom 131 (50.0%) were on contraceptive pills. There were no significant associations observed between education and contraceptive use. However, users of contraceptives tended to be married, older than 20 years and with children. There was no association between contraceptive use and religion. The study also revealed that the majority of clients 368 (96%) were ignorant about EC and 167(77.0 %) health providers had inadequate knowledge about EC. The majority of clients 368(96 %) and 157 (72.4 %) health providers did not know any type of EC. Asked whether EC would be a useful method for the community, the majority of both groups of respondents agreed that EC could be a useful method for the community. Significantly, more health providers (98.6%) than clients (90 3%) agreed that it could be necessary to educate women of childbearing age and health providers on EC use. It was also discovered that more health providers (13.8%) than clients (3.4%) had any beliefs or taboos concerning EC use.Conclusions Lack of knowledge and information about the existence of the methods were the main reasons for non-use of EC. EC is useful in preventing unwanted pregnancies especially in adolescents and there is no evidence that knowledge of these methods of contraception have the effect on encouraging sexual activity among young people. On the other hand, the need for EC could be a stimulus that can bring adolescents into contacts with health care providers, thus providing opportunities for counselling on responsible sexual behaviour, contraception and prevention of STD/HIV and AIDS. Recommendations included: Reproductive health and Family Planning topics should be introduced early in primary and secondary education, health providers need special training in family planning methods including EC, identification of potential users of EC and sensitizing women of childbearing age in the community about use of EC, EC should be part of family planning method mix and all clients on contraceptives should be taught in case of failure of their regular methods and a deliberate policy should be formulated to ensure that all urban health centers were equipped with at least one method of repackaged EC.