Chikere A. Anusiem* and Oliver Uchechukwu Eze


Appropriate use of contraceptives in family planning has proved to be a very cost effective exercise that has reduced the number of maternal deaths by 40% over the past 20 years, and appreciably improved infant survival rates. The uptake of family planning services and the type of contraceptive adopted by couples are influenced by several factors including knowledge of the meaning of family planning and knowledge of family planning methods. In this paper we report a study of the impact of women’s socio-economic characteristics on their knowledge of contraceptives. A pre-validated questionnaire was used to carry out a cross-sectional survey of women of child bearing age at antenatal clinics in major hospitals in Enugu metropolis Nigeria on year 2017. The hospitals were chosen by multistage randomized sampling. Data analysis was carried out using Epi info and SPSS version 20 computer softwares. Significance of any differences was determined at p ≤ 0.05. Two hundred and sixteen completed questionnaires were obtained from three busy hospital antenatal clinics. All respondents were between the ages of 18 years and 45 years. Among the respondents 85.2% were urban residents and over 90% of them were literate. As much as 80% had a good knowledge of what family planning meant and the methods. There was no association of knowledge of methods of family planning with age or marital status. There was an association between Knowledge of hormonal contraceptives with the level of education attained by the women. There was no association of knowledge of family planning methods with marital status, parity, past history of multiple births, or location of residence but there was an association between Knowledge of family planning methods with past history of caesarian section. Formal education of women improves their capacity to have correct knowledge of family planning services. As rational use of antifertility medicines and devices leads to improvements in maternal and infant health and survival, more efforts should be made to increase the access of women to education and to family planning services.

Keywords: Contraceptives, family planning, socio-economic characteristics, knowledge.

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