CONTRACEPTIVE USE AND “UNMET NEED” FOR FAMILY PLANNING AMONG WOMEN IN THE BIYEM-ASSI HEALTH DISTRICT

Atem Bethel Ajong (christrah@yahoo.fr)
Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Yaounde I
June, 2015
 

Abstract

Background: Contraceptive prevalence in developing countries is still very low. In Cameroon, the prevalence of unmet need for family planning is still unacceptably high. The rate of use of contraception varies with wealth, education, ethnicity, religion, and rural-urban residence. Increasing the prevalence of modern contraception is paramount in reducing the prevalence of unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, as well as maternal, neonatal and infant morbi-mortality. In the Biyem-Assi Health District, very little has been done to describe contraceptive use among the women and practically no research has been carried out to determine their unmet need for family planning.

The objective of this study was to describe contraceptive use and the “unmet need” for family planning as well as determine factors associated with contraceptive use among women of child bearing age in the Biyem-Assi Health District.

Methodology: This was a community based cross sectional study targeting women aged 15-49 years in the Biyem-Assi Health District. Multistep cluster sampling was used and data collected from the 05th of January 2015 to the 15th of March 2015 with a pretested questionnaire administered face to face by well-trained interviewers. Analyses were done using Epi Info software version 3. 5. 4. We used odds ratios to measure association and chi square test to compare proportions.

Results: A total of 712 women were interviewed, 50% was below 26.0 years old and a mean age of 27.5+6.5years was registered. Key results of this study indicated that: Of the 712 women, 701 (98.5%) were knowledgeable of at least one contraceptive method and 699 (98.2%) knowledgeable of at least one modern method. 424 women out of 614 who were liable to getting pregnant were using contraception at the time of our study giving us a global prevalence of contraception of 69.5% and 381 were using a modern method giving a prevalence of modern contraception of 62.1%.The most preferred contraceptive methods were; the male condom (53.4%), female condom (5.5%), oral pills (3.7%), implants (2.9%), IUD (2.4%), and injectable (1.4%). The prevalence of unmet need for family planning among 367 women who were in a union was at 19.7% with 13.7% having an unmet need for spacing and 6.0% having an unmet need for limiting. Factors significantly associated to an increased contraceptive use were age below 30years, a high level of education of the woman and that of the partner, women of christian faith, occupation of student or skilled job, approval of contraception by the partner, a high frequency of conversions on family planning within the couple and women out of union.

Conclusion
Even though the knowledge of sexually active women of child bearing age in the Biyem-Assi Health District seems high, the rate of contraceptive use is still unsatisfactory. The prevalence of unmet need for family planning is still unacceptably high. Age, marital status, the level of education of the woman, the level of education of the Partner, religion, occupation, approval of contraception by the partner, and the frequency of conversations on family planning within the couple are major factors significantly associated to contraceptive use in the Biyem-Assi Health District.


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