Family planning knowledge, perception and practice amongst married male factory workers in Thika town, Kenya
Maina, Robert Kamugi
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A descriptive cross sectional survey was conducted in Thika, Kenya, between October 1999 and January 2000. The quality of knowledge, communication, perception and practice of family planning were evaluated. A total of four hundred and eighty sampled respondents were interviewed and nine Focus Group Discussions (FGD) were held. The study respondents were married men who had an age of 40 years, 90.2% had a single wife and 87.3% were in permanent employment. Most respondents 97.3% were Christians and 98.1% had some formal level of education. Nearly all the respondents 99.8% and FGD participants were aware of the term ''family planning''. Awareness for most specific FP methods was high expected for Norplant (42.5%). However, knowledge of most specific FP methods was low where 20% of the respondents knew the use of female surgical contraceptives (TL) compared to 92.5% who had awareness for the same method. The majority 84% of the respondents approved the use of family planning, though 73.1% disapproved of men undergoing vasectomy. The results also indicated that 91.3% of the respondents had discussed FP issues with their wives and 66.5% with other people within the six months prior to the study. The results showed low family planning practice. Only 24.4% of the respondents had ever attended any FP clinic and a health worker had ever counselled only 35% about FP. Even though 75.6% of the respondents reported their families to be using a FP method currently, the use of specific make oriented methods was very low. Only 13.8% of the respondents were using periodic absistenence, 10% were using condoms, 2.3% were using withdrawal method and only 0.4% was using vasectomy. Factors that impeded the use of family planning by the respondents included; (a.) Lack of knowledge (61.5%) (b.) Cultural proscription (61 %) (c.) Opposition from spouse 54.4% and (d.) Religious proscription 31.7% among many others. In the bivariate analysis, the current use of any FP method was shown to increase significantly with quality knowledge of FP methods (p< 0.05), spousal discussion (p<0.001) and approval of PF use (p<0.001). However, in the multivariate analysis respondent's age (O.R 3.9, p<0.05), spousal approval on FP use (O.R 12.2 p<0.001) and respondent’s future intentions to use FP (O.R 24.5, p value 0.001) emerged to be good predictors to respondent’s current use of any FP methods. Low quality knowledge of FP methods among other factors impeded the practice of FP by married men in the study are. There is therefore a need to strategize on Information, Education and Communication (IEC) targeting married men in all areas of Family Planning.
- MST-Zoological Sciences