Utilization of natural family planning among catholic couples in Lusaka.

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Mwape, Kalobwe Secunda
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The University of Zambia
Background: The national strategy for family planning in Zambia is to increase the availability and access of contraceptive services and to intensify information education and communication. Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic Church advocates natural family planning methods as the only genuine, legitimate and recommendable method of birth control. Ironically, utilisation of natural family planning continues to be lower than other contraceptive methods. Objective: The main objective of this study was to assess utilisation of natural family planning among Catholic Couples in Lusaka. The study sought to determine the level of knowledge, service related factors and the association between utilisation and the determinants to utilisation of natural family planning among Catholic couples. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. The study was conducted in Lusaka and part of Central provinces based on the Lusaka Archdiocese boundaries. The calculated sample size was 384 and cluster technique was used to select the respondents. Out of the calculated sample size of 384, only 231 participated in the study, giving a response rate of 60%. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Data was processed and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 22 Computer software for Windows. Confidence interval was set at 95%. A 5% level of significance was set, only p -values of 0.05 or less were considered statistically significant. The Chi-Square test, Bivariate and multiple logistic regressions were used to test for associations between the dependent and independent variables. Findings: The findings of the study were that, only 39% of the Catholic couples utilised the natural family planning methods. Salient findings were that service providers were not available in the Parishes and most couples did not have adequate information to enable them practice the method. On the other hand, the study found that factors such as duration of marriage, number of children and the type of marriage were not significant. There is need therefore for the Roman Catholic Church to fully participate in the provision of natural family planning services if the Catholic couples are to conform to the teaching of the Church. Key words: Natural Family Planning, Utilisation, Roman Catholic couples
Natural family planning. , Catholic Church--Doctrines. , Natural family planning--Catholics.