FERTILITY AND FAMILY PLANNING IN ZARIA CITY AND ENVIRONS

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FERTILITY AND FAMILY PLANNING IN ZARIA CITY AND ENVIRONS

ABSTRACT

This study investigates, through empirical research, the on-going debate on the alleged increased contraceptive use and lower fertility in sub-Saharan Africa in relation to the Northern part of Nigeria. The interest in the topic was kindled by the fact that most studies in fertility and family planning in Nigeria have been carried out in the southern part of the country to the neglect of the North. Moreover, almost all of these Studies have consistently made no attempt to compare the fertility outcomes of contraceptive users and nonusers so as to assess the extent of the impact of family planning programmes on fertility. A review of the existing literature reveals positive relationship between family planning programmes and fertility reduction especially in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. The literature also shows that persuasive socio-cultural treasons still account for people’s desirefor children in African countries, and the interplay of these sociocultural variables with family planning programmes result in fertility reduction or otherwise. The study population consists of mothers between the ages of 15 and 49 years who reside in Zaria and environs. Samples were drawn on the basis of quota sampling technique from the family planning clinics and maternal and child health care units of selected health institutions in Zaria. Data were collected by ix moans of questionnaire which was used as interview schedule. From the data collected and analysed, it is found that contraceptive users have lower average fertility than non-users. Fertility varies substantially by age at first marriage, ethnicity, religion, education and occupation. However, the desired and achieved fertility arc high in the sample. Contraceptive use varies with education, religion and achieved parity, and the most widely used method of contraception are the less permanent and reversible, particularly the condom, injectable, IUD and the natural methods. The major factor for non-use of contraceptives is found to be related to the perceived health risks associated with them, rather than ignorance or non-availability of contraceptives. Based on these and other findings, it is advocated that family planning programmes which integrate with reproductive health care services and also sustainable economic and social development projects that benefit the individual woman and her family should be vigorously pursued in Nigeria. This advocacy is based on the understanding that no family planning programme can be effective” without giving simultaneous attention to women’s poverty, illiteracy and powerlessness which create the demand for a large number of children.

FERTILITY AND FAMILY PLANNING IN ZARIA CITY AND ENVIRONS

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