Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Shifting Beliefs and Practices around Family Planning in Rural Ethiopia

Poster Number

90

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Doctoral

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

family planning, contraception; attitudes; beliefs; health extension workers

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

Background: Over the last ten years Ethiopia has substantially increased uptake of family planning methods. As a result, most regions of the country experienced a decrease in fertility. The aims of this study are to: (1) Describe the current family planning beliefs in one rural district in Ethiopia; (2) Identify which beliefs promote or hinder the uptake of family planning; (3) Acquire insights into how these beliefs may be changing through time; and, (4) Specify the social influences involved in the diffusion of information and ideas related to fertility and family planning.

Methods: In July 2016, in collaboration with our Ethiopian research partners, we conducted five focus groups and twelve individual interviews (n = 59) with adolescents, men, women and key informants in Oromia, Ethiopia. We used a random sampling protocol to recruit participants. Focus group and interview questions covered childbearing, gender roles, decision-making, and modern contraceptive use. We analyzed data using thematic analysis and Nvivo v.11 qualitative software.

Results: All participants knew of and accepted modern contraception to space childbirth. Adults considered it a positive change within their community and adolescents considered it a common part of the community for married women. We also found that there are two decision-making networks in regards to family planning: (1) one that pertains to basic decisions about having children, which remains patriarchal; and (2) a second network that pertains to family size and spacing decisions which includes the Government Health Extension Workers who are perceived as trusted community members who helped bring family planning methods and health education to the community. Adolescents described use of contraception among married women as commonplace but did not discuss it for themselves. Some key informants reported a need for improved adolescent sexual health services.

Conclusion: While marriage and initial childbearing remain patriarchal, Government Health Workers have helped to increase contraception uptake among married women who space births after their first birth. Focusing efforts on spacing after first birth among married women could be an effective first step to increase contraception uptake within a community.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Poster to be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Shifting Beliefs and Practices around Family Planning in Rural Ethiopia

Background: Over the last ten years Ethiopia has substantially increased uptake of family planning methods. As a result, most regions of the country experienced a decrease in fertility. The aims of this study are to: (1) Describe the current family planning beliefs in one rural district in Ethiopia; (2) Identify which beliefs promote or hinder the uptake of family planning; (3) Acquire insights into how these beliefs may be changing through time; and, (4) Specify the social influences involved in the diffusion of information and ideas related to fertility and family planning.

Methods: In July 2016, in collaboration with our Ethiopian research partners, we conducted five focus groups and twelve individual interviews (n = 59) with adolescents, men, women and key informants in Oromia, Ethiopia. We used a random sampling protocol to recruit participants. Focus group and interview questions covered childbearing, gender roles, decision-making, and modern contraceptive use. We analyzed data using thematic analysis and Nvivo v.11 qualitative software.

Results: All participants knew of and accepted modern contraception to space childbirth. Adults considered it a positive change within their community and adolescents considered it a common part of the community for married women. We also found that there are two decision-making networks in regards to family planning: (1) one that pertains to basic decisions about having children, which remains patriarchal; and (2) a second network that pertains to family size and spacing decisions which includes the Government Health Extension Workers who are perceived as trusted community members who helped bring family planning methods and health education to the community. Adolescents described use of contraception among married women as commonplace but did not discuss it for themselves. Some key informants reported a need for improved adolescent sexual health services.

Conclusion: While marriage and initial childbearing remain patriarchal, Government Health Workers have helped to increase contraception uptake among married women who space births after their first birth. Focusing efforts on spacing after first birth among married women could be an effective first step to increase contraception uptake within a community.