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Family Planning and Birth Control is a practice by which couples space the number of years between children they plan to have. The target population was women of reproductive age group in Afaha Nsit. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the respondent. Statistical test of significance was performed with Chi-Square test. A total of 1219 consenting respondents participated in the study with a mean age ± SD of 32.37 ± 8.95 years.

The main reason given for choice of contraception was reliability, main source of information is through government-owned hospital health personnel, male condom is the most widely used current method while heavy menstrual period is the commonly known side effect. Indications show that educational status, religious factor and economic status influence contraception choices, there is therefore need for more campaign and public enlightenment programs on modern contraception methods, importance, choices and benefits, crucially including the religious leaders, in order to fast track the information spread and further improve the use of modern contraceptive methods.




1.1     Background to the Study

Family planning information is right information every citizen that is of age should have. Moreover, birth control is at the center of family planning. Indeed, birth control was original name used for family planning.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica (2011) it was first used by a U.S. reformer Margaret Sanger in 1914/15and the term denotes methods of preventing conception, whether involving the male or female, it now comprises all methods of fertility control including abortion and sterilization. While fertility control is a broader term encompassing stimulating or inducing fertility as well as the limitation of births.


Family planning or Planned Parenthood generally refers more broadly to policies, programs and services designed to assist people in practicing birth control. Furthermore, Obinna (2017) reported in Vanguard online that Dr. Jumoke Adekogbaa Reproductive Health and Family Planning Advisor with Engender Health says that Family Planning is the initiation and use of natural or modern contraceptive methods to delay, space or limit future pregnancies and that it gives couples the ability to choose the number and space births of their children. Healthy spacing of pregnancies increases healthy outcomes for mother and baby she added.

The knowledge of family planning does more than enable women and men to control their family size as is popularly held. It guarantees citizens’ health and rights; improves families quality of life and by implication the larger society. The saying that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation will remain a truism for a very long time to come.



Moreover, according to the Federal Government of Nigeria (2014) family planning (FP) is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent maternal, infant, and child mortality. Thus, in its blue print document it argued that it can reduce maternal mortality by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, the number of abortions, and the proportion of births at high risk. The family planning and birth control among women in Nigeria.

In addition, family planning, FGN (2014) continues offers a host of additional health, social, and economic benefits; it can help slow the spread of HIV, promote gender equality, reduce poverty, accelerate socioeconomic development, and protect the environment.


Control of human fertility has been the desire of most individuals and societies over the years. That is to say that the whole essence of fertility control or family planning is to put the population under control and enhances living condition.

In those days families need for power and prosperity necessitated large population which makes them to engage in polygamy, but the desirability of large family population these days is in doubt especially in developing countries like Nigeria and in the face of the persistent economic crisis across the globe.

Large population are supposed to be advantage of countries as it were to families in those good old days but the reverse is the case for economic reasons as earlier stated. As United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (2017) puts it, access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human right  3and that family planning is central to gender equality and women’s empowerment, also a key factor in reducing poverty.

However, yet in developing regions, some 214 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access to information or services, religious belief to lack of support from their partners or communities. This threatens their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. This is an achievable task but requires the concerted effort of not only the three tiers of government but that of the communities, civil society organizations, and the organised private sector as they rightly said.


Without a doubt, our population is growing at an alarming rateof3.3% per annum FGN (2014). Is this a suggestion that family planning information is not available or adequately available to the citizens? Or that the people are not aware of the idea, its benefits and possible side effects? The awareness drive should be for both couples as they are the ones to jointly take the decision of accepting the need for family planning and what method(s) to adopt from available options. Several methods exist over the years both traditional and modern. The family planning and birth control among women in Nigeria.

Traditional method includes mostly unorthodox means. While, modern methods of contraception include pill, injection, implants, female sterilization, male sterilization, female condom, male condom, intrauterine device, diaphragm, foam/jelly, and emergency contraception, creating awareness. Also, having access and utilization of the information and methods would help in mitigating complications in pregnancy, maternal/mortality death under spaced child births, poverty, illiteracy and population explosion in Akwa Ibom State.

It is the intent of this study therefore, to find out the extent of awareness, accessibility, source(s), methods and of course utilization of family planning information to Nigerians in Akwa Ibom State.


1.2     Statement of the Problem

Undeniably, proper family planning has a great impact on the improvement and welfare of any people. Undeniably, there are high records of out of school children, high maternal mortality rate, and our population is growing at an alarming rate of3.3% percent per annum according to Prof. Hadiza Shehu Galadanci as reported in Muhammad (2018). Greater percentage of the citizens lives below one dollar per day.

Without reservation, family planning is supposed to play a major role in checking all these anomalies. This is a serious concern to the world and well-meaning Nigerians as well. Two major summits on family planning have been organized within the last five years and Nigerian government participated very well.


After the London Summit of 2012 Nigerian government came up with a Blueprint with the intent to achieve the following by 2018: increase in contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 36 percent as against the present CPR of 15 percent; aversion of infant death by 400,000; child death by 700,000;and the aversion of 1.6 million unintended pregnancies.

At the most recent Summit of July 2017, they only made a recommitment of their earlier stand, an indication that they have no result to show from their earlier promise. When will all these promises be achieved? Therefore, some stakeholders including the National Population Commission have argued that there is not enough information on family planning.


The effectiveness or otherwise of the Federal Ministry of Health’s Family Planning blueprint should not be measured by how well it was articulated but how well it becomes a house hold issue in all nook and crannies of this country. To the best of the knowledge of the researchers there is no available study on this in this part of the country, hence this study intends to fill this gap and create knowledge.


1.3     Significance of the study

Family planning offers many benefits, including empowering women to choose how many children they have, better health and survival of mothers and children, a reduction in poverty, and a better educated population. Women leave the work force for various reasons but one of the commonest reasons is pregnancy and, subsequently, child care needs.

Research has predicted that there will be 80,000 Malaysian women who will leave the workforce in 2020 due to unintended pregnancies. We know that 40% of all pregnancies are unintended. Also, we know that women with unintended pregnancies are less prepared mentally, emotionally and financially to go through with the pregnancy. They tend to suffer higher risks of complications, have less antenatal care and are more challenged to meet needs post delivery. The family planning and birth control among women in Nigeria.

These consequences are more profound in the lower socioeconomic strata and among the less educated – thus the vicious cycle of the poor getting poorer and sicker. There is a clear link between family planning, women empowerment and human capital development. At its core, family planning allows women to plan when they want to be pregnant and avoid unintended pregnancies.


1.4     Objectives of the study

This study has the following objectives:

(i)To examine the extent of awareness, availability and accessibility of family planning information in Akwa Ibom State.

(ii)To find out whether the target group (married women) in Akwa Ibom State have access to these information

(iii)To identify the kind of family planning information available to in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria;

(iv)To establish the sources of family planning information available in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria;

(v.)To find out the extent of utilization of family planning information in Akwa Ibom State;

(vi.)To identify the challenges militating against use of family planning information in Akwa Ibom State.


1.5     Research Questions

1). What is the knowledge level of female and male married people on the idea of common birth control methods of family planning in Afaha Nsit?

2). To what extent do male and female married people apply birth control measures for planning family in Afaha Nsit?

3). What are the problems in the use of birth control methods of family planning by male and female respondents in Afaha Nsit?

4). What measures can be adopted to enhance family planning among male and female married people in Afaha Nsit?


1.6     Research Hypotheses

H01: There is no significant difference in the knowledge level of female and male married people on birth control methods for family planning in Afaha Nsit.

H02: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of male and female married people on the extent to which married people apply birth control measures for family planning in Afaha Nsit.

H03: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of male and female married people on the problems in the use of birth control methods for family planning in Afaha Nsit.

H04: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of female and male married people on methods that can be applied to improve family planning amidst married people in Afaha Nsit


1.6     Limitation of the Study

  1. Duration of the research work is relatively short.
  2. Stress emanated from other academic activities may prove another constraint.
  3. Fewer materials are available for the work.
  4. Most information is gathered from text book and online.
  5. Shortage of finance



In conclusion, family planning activities and services were the instruments through which a people or nation use to achieve objectives of reducing poverty, maternal and infant mortality, check population explosion, improve income of its citizens all for a better life.

Information is power, because it is the basis of making right decision whether as an individual or as a Government. Therefore the availability of family planning information has been established to be very vital in this regard. Findings of this study, has revealed good level of availability, awareness, access and utilization of family planning information. Radio tops the list in the sources of family planning information in the state. Modern family planning methods were mostly used.

Restraints in the state comes mostly from or overbearing religious influence, finance/poverty, high illiteracy, and fear of the side effects which emanate from rumours made possible by perhaps minimal or ill crafted information on the jingles. The proportion of respondents who were currently using family planning was low.

The findings of this study suggest that family planning uptake would increase if couples make joint decision in this regard. Although a good proportion of respondents have a positive attitude towards family planning and indicate their willingness to recommend it to others, there is a need to ensure a change of behavior and attitude of the remaining minority whose poor attitude could influence utilization of family planning services by others.


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Ikemesit Akpan is my name. I am a Nigerian author. I work with I'm a researcher and a writer of academic research.

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