Background of the Study

Family planning allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the   spacing of pregnancies. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and  the  treatment of infertility  (WHO Factsheet No 351, 2012). Promotion of family Planning, and ensuring access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples,   is essential to securing the wellbeing and autonomy  of women while supporting  the health and development of communities.


The benefit of family planning are numerous, including preventing pregnancy-related health risks in women, such as material mortality which increases as  women have more children after the 4th  one. By reducing the rates of unintended pregnancies. Family planning also reduces the need for unsafe abortion.   Other benefits  according to WHO factsheet no 351 (2012) include reducing  infant mortality, helping women to prevent HIV/AIDs, empowering people and enhancing education, reducing adolescent pregnancies and slowing population growth. Concerning family planning, is key to slowing down  unsustainable  population growth and  resulting negative impacts on the economy, environment, national and regional development efforts.


Globally an estimated 222 million women in developing counties would like to delay child bearing but are not using any method of contraception. Some of the reasons are limited choice of methods, access to contraception, particularly among young people, pooer segment of population fear  or experiences of side effects, cultural or religions opposition   poor quality of available  services  and gender based barriers etc.


The unmet need for contraception  remains too high thus unequity is fuelled by both a growing population, and a shortage of family planning services. In Africa 53% of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for modern concentration. In Asia and Latin America and the carri bean the levels of unmet needs are 21% and 22% respectively.


The rapid growth of the worlds population over the past one hundred  years results form  a difference between the rate of birth and the rate of death.  In today’s world, owns to improved nutrition, sanitation, and enhance care, more children survive their first five years of life. The combination  of a continuing  high birth rate and  a how death rate is creating a rapid population  increase in many counties in Asia, Latin America   and Africa.  Over population refers to the conduction of having more people than can live on the earth in comfort, happiness and health and still live a world a fit place for future generation (Kinder, 2013)


It took the entire history of human kind for the population to reach 1 billion around 1810. Just 120 years later, this doubled to 2 billion in 1930, then 4 billion in 1975 (45 years later). The number of people in the world has risen form 4.4 billion in 1980 to 5.8 billion. Its estimated that the population could double again to nearly 11 billion  in less than 40 years (2020). This means that more people are now being added each day than any other time in human history  (Kinder, 2013).  According to UNFPA estimations  the total population is likely  to reach 10 billion by 2025 and from to 14 billion by the end of the next century unless birth control use increase dramatically  around the world within the next two decate (Kinder, 2013).

The commonest population characteristics which have implications for population growth  are birth rates and death rates and both  have fallen in many places.


However, death rates have  fallen faster than birth  rates. It I s estimated that there are  about 1.6 births for each death in more developed nations and 3.3 birth for each death in less developed nations the results  is that the world population continuances to grow.


In Nigeria, as well other nations in sub-Saharan Africa, the population growth rate is highest in the world, with an arrange of 2 86% annually (Mustapha, 2008). Nigeria estimate is about 3.0% (NDHS, 2008) with such a rate of growth, Nigeria has becomes the most populous  country in Africa and occupies prominent position among the  world counties in terms of population. We are already facing population explosion in Nigeria.


The consequences of over population/ population explosion are all too obvious. Population grows fastest in the worlds poorest counties high fertility rates have  been strongly correlated with poverty and high child/ mortality rates. Conversely, falling fertility rates are generally associated  with improved standards of living, increased life expectance  and lowered infant  mortality over population and poverty have  long been associated with increased diseases death, and, people high packed into unsanitary housing are inordinately vulnerable   to natural disasters and  health problems (Kinder, 2013).


Population control is the practicing  artificially  altering the growth  rate of the population historically, human populations control has been implemented by limiting the population birth  rate, usually,   government  mandate and has been undertaken as a response to factors including  higher increasing levels o f poverty, environmental concerns religions reason  and over population  world wide.  Population control movement are driving reproductive health and family planning programmes. (Kindsen, 2006). Contraception is one of the major method of populations control.


Population control through various forms of family planning have been postulated and practiced throughout  history from the earliest times. Some methods include abstinences contraceptive measures abortions and even killing of children. Many nations have also been able to control on stabilize their population and economic polices through various family planning regulations such as the one child policy of China, privilege given to people with few chidden in india,  mandatory contraceptive course before marriage  license  in Iran and so forth (Dewey, 2004).


Statement of the Problem    

Many developing  counties like Korea, Brazil Columbia, China, India and Bangladesh have successfully applied family planning programs as a means of over coming rapid population growth (World Bank Annual report 2004) Nigeria has also adopted family planning as a strategy to curb the hight  rate of population growth that, it is experiencing now. However the adoption rate of family planning practices is till low (Duzer Mohammed 2006). Fertility rate in Nigeria in 6.3 for rural and 4.5 for urban  (NDHS), 2008 women still have about 6 children on the average. 


According to the USAID report (2009) high fertility is a major  factor contributing to the challenges of meeting the MDGs in Nigeria and African counties, a situation which is more in the rural areas due to the low literacy level of women and their poor early power. Nigeria, with a population or of 140 million (NPC 2007) has become the largest country in Africa in terms of population.


The population growth rate is 3.0%/ NDHS (2008) the result of  rapid and over population  is huger, inadequate  water supply, increasing number of people in need of health care, education economic and other amnesties which are not enough. There are also many social vices even in Auaocha LGA.


Large families are observed especially where they have only girl children. Nigeria still loses about 150 women daily from pregnancy related causes, in spite of over 30 years of safe motherhood emphases and intervention (Oguji 2010). The story is the same in Anaocha LGA. The researcher observed a young poor couple with six children. She also witnessed the death of  two women form Adazi- Enu in Anaocha LGA as a result of post pattern in haemorrahge  after their 7th delivery.


All these made the researcher to wonder if women of child bearing age in Anaocha LGA have adequate knowledge of family planning and are practicing  it, if so whether they are using the  appropriate methods. This has prompted the researcher to study knowledge and practices family planning among women  of child bearing age in Anaocha LGA


Purpose of the study    

Purpose of this study is to assess the knowledge and family planning practices of women of child bearing age of Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Specifically, the objectives are to:

  1. Assess the knowledge of women of child bearing age of Anaocha LGA about family planning.
  2. Identify the methods of family planning in use in Anaocha LGA.
  3. Determine the patterns of practice of family planning methods.
  4. Determine the influencing factors to the utilization of family planning methods.
  5. Establish relationship between method of family planning in use and socio demographic factors.


Research questions

  1. What knowledge do the rural women of child bearing age in Anaocha Local Government Area have about family planning?
  2. What are the family planning methods in use by women of child bearing age in Anaocha LGA?
  3. What are the patterns of family planning practice of rural women of child bearing age?
  4. What are the influencing factors to the methods in use?
  5. What are the relationship between methods of family planning in use and social demographic factors?


Significance of the study

Findings from this study will help to discover the weakness in the knowledge and family planning practices of the child bearing women. This will help health personnel, professionals and individuals who work in this area especially nurses whom are always in contact with the clients, in counselling and educating the child bearing women on family planning, especially nurses whom are always in contact with the clients.  This strategy will increase knowledge, utilization of family planning methods and thus reduction in high risk pregnancies and their consequences.

Finally, the findings from this study will add to the existing body of knowledge on reproductive health and stimulate further research on the topic and related area.




Scope of the study

The study is delimited to women of child bearing age 15-49 years of Anaocha Local Government Area who live in the rural area. It is also delimited to assessing the knowledge and family planning practices of women of child bearing age. Specifically, it is delimited to identifying the methods, patterns of practice, influencing factors to the use of family planning and the relationship between methods and some socio-demographic characteristics.






Operational definitions of terms in this study

Knowledge of family planning refers: – to factual information about family planning- to identify methods correctly, /techniques of family planning, benefits and sources of information.

Good Knowledge –   3

Knowledge           –    2

Poor knowledge  –     1 or 0

Family planning practices refer: – to utilization of family planning methods, frequency of use and other activities like physical exercise, used to delay or prevent pregnancy.

Methods in use: – In this study means the types of family planning methods utilized to space or prevent occurrence of pregnancy e.g. condom, IUCD, Hormonal methods, Natural and Traditional methods.

Pattern of use refers: – usage of family planning methods i.e. regularity/frequency, combined or alone.

Influencing factors refers: – to promoting and constraining factors to family planning practice.

Promoting factors: implies things that make it easy to use the family planning methods e.g. education, knowledge, availability of service providers and materials, cost, husband’s support and approval as well as nearness to health facilities.

Constraining factors: – Things that make it difficult to utilize chosen methods e.g. cost, religious belief, husband’s disapproval, unavailability of materials, high parity, low parity and far distance to health facilities.

Socio-demographic data used in this study are: – Age, number of surviving children, parity and level of education.

Basic education refers to non formal to secondary education

Higher education refers to post secondary education.

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