Article abstract


Introduction: family planning programmes have helped in increasing the prevalence of contraceptive use and reducing total fertility rate in developing countries from six to three births per woman. However, its uptake is lower in the rural areas compared to urban areas. This study seeks to elucidate the effect of community mobilisation on awareness, approval and use of family planning among women of reproductive age in the rural areas of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

 

Methods: we conducted a quasi-experimental study among women aged 15 to 49 years in two rural communities in Ebonyi State. Using simple random method, we recruited 484 women for the study. We used pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire to collect information from the participants. Community awareness and distribution of Information Education and Communication materials were carried out within one month. We estimated the effect of the intervention on the level of awareness, approval and uptake of family planning methods.

 

Results: level of awareness increased by 19% (p<0.001) while uptake of family planning increased by 16.7% (p<0.001) in the intervention group. The approval rate was higher in the intervention group compared to the control group (p=0.008). The most commonly used method of family planning was the natural method in intervention and control arms.

 

Conclusion: although uptake of family planning increased significantly in the study population, the rate is generally low. Given the critical role of the community in family planning programs, community mobilisation may be deployed to increase uptake of family planning in similar rural communities.