Impendiments to contraceptive use in women admitted with abortion at the University Teaching Hospital(UTH)
Matimba, Mavis Chiko
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Abortion is a major cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because many women are, for various reasons that include poor quality of existing services, fear or distrust of methods or conflict between partners about childbearing goals, still not using modem contraceptive methods to prevent unplanned pregnancies (The Alan Guttmacher Institute). The aim of the study was to determine impediments to contraceptive use in women admitted with abortion at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). The objective was to find out whether religious influence, spouse/partner opposition and fear of contraceptive side effects are barriers to contraceptive use. Also to assess the accessibility of family planning services in terms of distance from source and the participant's knowledge of the safe period. A cross sectional study was conducted. A study sample size of 146 was calculated at 95 percent confidence level and adjusted for finite population. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the study participants.The study participants were selected from women admitted to the UTH gynaecology admission ward COS, in Lusaka, Zambia.Data was collected using a structured interview schedule administered by two research assistants.The results of the study showed that the majority of the women 81 (55.5 percent) were aged 25 years and below, married 110 (75.3 percent), unemployed 110 (75.3 percent), many had poor education 69 (47.3 percent) and lived in high density residential areas 92 (63.0 percent). Though the source of family plaiming services was within 30 minutes walking distance to the majority of the women 109 (79.0 percent), 70 (47.9 percent) of these women had never used any family plarming method before. 41 (31.3 percent) said they did not prevent this pregnancy because they had no method at hand. Knowledge of the condom as a contraceptive method was low 21 (14.4 percent) in comparison to the ZDHS2001-2002 figure, which was reported to be 94.1 percent in the general population. The majority 110 (75.3 percent) had poor knowledge of the safe period. Partner/spouse approval seemed to increase with the increase in the number of children a woman had. The majority of the study participants lacked autonomy in decision-making on contraceptive usage irrespective of their educational level, employment status, or, parity.It is evident therefore that, in order to increase contraceptive uptake, there is need to incorporate fertility education in schools from as low as upper primary school. Service providers must discuss side effects of the various contraceptive methods in order to allay unwarranted fear by clients. There is also a great need to educate the women folk of their individual right to decide on the use of contraceptives without having to consult their spouse/partner. After all, it is the woman who suffers the consequences of abortion.
- Medicine