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  • Background to the Study

      The act of giving birth is the most serious labour in the world (Ademowore, 2011). The explosive increase in the nation’s population emanating from indiscriminate childbearing. Apart from a small number of privileged countries that have succeeded in reducing the population growth, each pregnancy and birth remains a risk fatal experience for hundreds of millions of women worldwide.

Family planning is a means by which individuals or couples space the process of conception. Pregnancy and childbirth intervals is mutually determined by both husband and wife in order to have desired number of children that they can conveniently cater for their needs (Delano, 2010).  According to Ahmed (2014), family planning is the factor that may be considered by a couple in a committed relationship and each individual involved in deciding if and when to have children. Though, rarely articulated, family planning may involve consideration of the number of children a couple wish to have as well as the age at which they wish to have them. Family Planning are obviously influenced by external factors such as marital situation, career considerations, financial position, any disabilities that may affect their ability to have children and raise them, beside many other considerations. World Health Organization (2011), describe family planning as a way of thinking and living that is adopted voluntarily, upon the basis of knowledge, attitudes, and responsible decisions by individuals or couples, in order to promote the health and welfare of the family group and thus contribute effectively to the social development of a country. The World Health Organization (WHO) (2012) estimates that 287,000 maternal deaths occurred in 2010, sub-Saharan Africa (56%) and southern Asia (29%) accounted for the global burden of maternal deaths.

Family planning is sometimes used as a synonym for the use of birth control; however, it often includes a wide variety of methods and practices that are for birth control. It is most usually applied to a female-male couple who wish to limit the number of children they have and/or to control the timing of pregnancy (also known as child-spacing). Family planning may encompass sterilization, as well as abortion. The pervasive problem presently is population rapid growth, especially in developing countries where this population growth matters, because it has enormous impact on the human life. It will not be wrong to say that the most urgent conflict facing the contemporary world today is not between the states of ideologies but between the pace of growth of the human race and the disproportionate increase in the production of resources, necessary to support mankind in peace, prosperity and dignity (Sehgal, 2014).

Odimegwu (2011) Opined that, rapid growth of population is not caused by any single reason, but it is obvious that how crucial the demographic factor can be in the political stability and the socio-economic development of a country. It has now universally recognized that a massive population size, its rapid growth rate, and its controlled transfer of population from rural areas to the cities can create pressure on the resources of a country, adversely affecting its economic prosperity. There is convincing evidence that poverty incidence is always higher among larger households.

Studies by Orbeta (2010) showed how a large family size creates the conditions leading to greater poverty through its negative impact on household saving, labour force participation. Earnings of parents, as well as on the human capital investment in children. Besides, it is stated that uncontrolled population growth is recognized as the single most important impediment to national development. Although population growth is not the only problem dividing rich and poor countries, it is one important variable that has widened the gap in growth in per capital income between developed and developing nations. Advocates of birth control see it as a means to prevent the personal and social pressures that result from rapid population growth (Encyclopedia, 2013, vol. 22). Family planning services are defined as “Educational, comprehensive medical or social activities which enable individuals, including minors, to determine freely the number and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved (Maisamari, 2010).

Generally, over population of the family has resulted to unhealthy individuals, high rate of unemployment, the ill-educated and the under-fed, which has no small measures aggravated crime rate as the populace are left with no better option, than involving themselves in various notorious and corrupt practices to earn a timing. With the recognition and consideration of the consequences of population explosion, it is obvious that family planning remains the only acceptable and practicable option for the reduction of incessant population growth. Family planning is the process of choosing the number of children in a family and the length of time between their births. It involves adoption of contraceptive devices to prevent unwanted pregnancies and thereby determining the number and spacing of children in the family (Encarta, 2010). Also family planning practices is therefore, the various ways of controlling births which may not conform to the approved standard either as a result of ignorance or apathy, couples ignorance and wrong perception of family planning, has created a rat-race situation where survival is for the fittest; (Agbakuribe, 2011).

Despite the recent increase in contraceptive use, Nigeria is still characterized by high levels of fertility and a considerable unmet need for contraception. The total fertility rate in Nigeria is 6.0 births per women and considerably higher in the rural areas than in the urban areas (World Health Organisation, 2017). Hence, men should be actively involved at the knowledge level (the concept of family planning), the supportive level (being supportive for other to use contraception) and the “acceptor” level, (as contraceptive user). Their decision-making role should be taken into account in order to promote family planning. Research indicates that accepting pregnancy, knowledge on different methods choice, and the understanding of the side effects of different methods are among the factors related to family planning.

Knowledge of family planning is a key variable in any discussion of fertility regulation and in the evaluation of family planning program. Acquiring knowledge about family planning is an important step toward gaining access to and then using suitable contraceptive methods in a timely and effective manner. Information of knowledge of family planning will help the couples to avoid or delay pregnancy; (Umar, 2012). Knowledge is facts, information and skills acquired through experiences or Knowledge of family planning – this consisted of knowledge of modern contraceptives source of information about family planning, sex education ins school and sexual transmitted diseases STDs the alarming rate of indiscriminate child bearing emanated from lack of knowledge of family planning (Chingpaye, 2013).

Attitude is any strong belief, feeling, approval or disapproval toward people and situations. Attitudes are learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. This can include evaluation of people issues, objects or events. Such evaluations are often positive or negative. (Paul, 2010). Practice of family planning – Are the extent to which people are making use of whatever health services that are available. Knowledge and positive attitude can be seen but the practice is not found; which means that not having knowledge and the positive attitude and knowledge matters. (Becher, 2014).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

               There is no doubt that Nigeria is one of the most populous country in Africa. The researcher observed that the problem of many children per family contributes to poverty, unhealthy, under-fed and ill-educated. The researcher observed that frequent birth by the mothers had been associated to a serious health problem to the mothers and their children; the health of the mothers is in coma due to frequent discharge of blood which is not regained before the conception of another pregnancy; and this accounted for thousands of deaths of women in Tafawa Balewa, Local government Area of Bauchi state. Fertility in the country remains high with a total fertility of 6.0 births per women and considerably higher in the rural areas than in the Urban (World Health Organisation, 2017).. 

              Maternal mortality is high due to the short interval of pregnancy which amounted to births related cases, this trends has cause pre-term birth (birth within 37 weeks of pregnancy)  low birth weight (child birth less than 2,500grams) and infant morbidity in the rural areas. The weaned children are in a serious health condition because the period for normal breast feeding is lacking, thereby resulting to low immunity that prone to contagious diseases.

              In spite of the importance of population growth to the society, couples, cultural resistance to child-spacing has brought about numerous social problems like indiscriminate child bearing, unwanted pregnancies, high rate of infant morbidity, drop-out from schools, and the low standard of living which has been on the increase with poverty also contributing to the incidence where families continue to reproduce uncontrollably because, of the believe that. It is a taboo to regulate fertility; these ugly threat has been observed by the researcher in Tafawa Balewa LGA.

              It is in line with the above that the researcher is interested in determining attitudes of couples towards family planning in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

1.3  Purpose of the Study

              The main purpose of this study is to assess the attitude of couples towards family planning in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The specific objectives of the study are to assess:

  1. The knowledge on family planning among couples in Tafawa Balewa LGA.
  2. The attitude of couples towards family planning in Tafawa Balewa LGA.
  3. The practice of family planning among couples in Tafawa Balewa LGA.
  4. The need for counselling on family planning in Tafawa Balewa.

1.4 Research Questions

            The study is proposed to answer the following research questions:

  1. How is the knowledge of couples about family planning in Tafawa Balewa LGA?
  2. What is the attitude of couples towards family planning in Tafawa Balewa LGA?
  3. How is the practice of family planning among couples in Tafawa Balewa LGA?
  4. To what extent is the need for counselling on family planning in Tafawa Balewa?

1.5  Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were postulated to be answered at 0.5 level of significance:

H01: Couples Tafawa Balewa LGA have no knowledge of family.

H02: Couples in Tafawa Balewa have negative attitudes towards family planning.

H03: Couples in Tafawa Balewa do not practice of family planning.

H04: There is no need for counselling on family planning in Tafawa Balewa.

1.6. Significance of the Study   

            The result of this study will be beneficial to: 

              The health educators in planning awareness program for the couples, thereby creating enlightenment to the couples in making decision that are related to family planning methods. 

              Findings of this study will enable couples to benefit from the awareness programs that are provided by the health educators in areas that are related to family planning methods. 

              Findings of this study will sensitize policy makers in creating policies that would support family planning practices. 

              Findings of this study will help tremendously in reducing mortality and morbidity through the awareness programme on issues or family planning and unwanted pregnancies. 

              Finally, when this study is completed, it will serve as a reference material to future researchers who would want to research on the same topic. It will add to the already existing body of literature on family planning.

1.7  Scope and Delimitation of the Study

            This study covers attitudes of couples towards family planning. The study is restricted to selected districts in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The variables to be covered in the study include the knowledge on family planning among couples, the attitude of couples towards family planning and the practice of family planning among couples. However, despite the fact that the study is restricted to the selected local government area, its findings will be generalized to other parts of the state and country as a whole where applicable.

1.8. Operational Definitions of Terms

Attitude: Attitude refers to inclinations to react in a certain way to certain situations; to see and interpret events according to certain predispositions.

Knowledge: To the capacity to acquire retain and use information, a mixture of comprehension, experience, discernment and skill.

Practice: Application of roles and knowledge that leads to action.

Rural Women: Women who lives in areas or communities with a populations less than a thousand persons.

Family Planning: Family planning is “the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births.

Couples: couples refer to male and female who are married and have the intention of having children.


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