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PERCEPTION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TOWARDS FAMILY PLANNING AND CONTRACEPTIVE IN LATER LIFE
1.1 Background of the study
In the past, large population was favoured because people believed it to be the bedrock on which the socio-economic prosperity and military strength of any nation is founded. But in the recent time, main by governments have expressed concerned with rapid population growth especially, its potential effects on development efforts because unmanaged growth can affect nation’s capacity to develop (Mauldin et al 1974). Rapid population growth creates shortage of housing, unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, poor education, ill-health and environmental degradation (weeks 1978: cited in Onokerhoraye 1985)). These problems are even more acute in the developing nations where the per-capita income is considerably low. This tend to perpetuate poverty in the society, so urgent and positive action is required to ameliorate this problem (Onokerhorage 1985).
Population growth is primarily induced by falling mortality rate and increase in fertility rate, this demographic pattern is as a result of new discoveries in medical science and general improvement on sanitation. It is true that death rate is on the decline perhaps rapidly without a corresponding fall in birth rates, this is the basic cause of unusually rapid and increasing population growth (Berelson 1966).
In the Third world countries in particular, death-rate has declined drastically with the provision of better health and medical facilities coupled with the socio-economic progress taking place in these societies. Though fertility rate is rapidly increasing in most developing countries, there by aggravating their socio-economic problems. But the population problem particularly, unwanted pregnancies is not confined to them, rather is world-wide. Akingba (1971).
Many countries have taken bold and courageous steps to control their population growth rate and one of such attempts is through ‘family planning.’ During the mid-60s the family planning movement which began essentially as a social and humanitarian effort attained key importance as the ‘action approach’ for curbing rapid population growth world wide (Henin 1979. P. 192). According to Henin the pressure for reducing fertility, quickly led social planners to concentrate on ‘’Family Planning’ as the most obvious answer, requiring as first priority the extension of voluntary family planning services and supplies to the whole population.
Caldwell (1975) asserts that government concern with population growth was originally expressed much earlier in Nigeria than Nigeria, but the need for ‘a population policy was contained in the June, 1966’ guide posts for ‘Second National Development plan’. This interest he claimed, culminated in the issuance of an official government population policy in November, 1970-1974). The population policy enunciated that ‘’the citizens be encouraged to develop a balance view for the opportunities for individual ‘’Family Planning’ on a voluntary basis, with a view to raising the quality of life of their offspring’’ (Fed. Republic of Nigeria 2nd 3rd Development plans; 1970-74, p.77; 1975-80 p. 293-94).
Since then there have been that conscious effort by the government to mobilise her citizens as to realise the importance of family planning, in spite of the debates on population problems and the need to limit family sizes, especially among, politicians, demographers, religious leaders and individuals alike. Uaegbu (1973) asserts that what appears to be pronatalism among some leaders might in part be due to lack of adequate information about the attitudes and desires of women at risk and also the extent of the problem (cited in Atemie 1979).
There had been sudden rise in the numbers of abortion cases throughout the country; and they are carried out illegally and in secrecy through quack means Ogungbemle (1978). Ineidu (1978) argues that those who do not engage in such illegal practices because of the fear of the law, either abandoned the children in toilets, gutters or in the bushes. Although traditional folk methods of birth control are widely known in tropical Africa, this however, ineffective to limit family six and space birth of children. Still Nigerian women resorted to it either for lack of adequate information about modern methods or non-availability of contraceptive deceives (Josephine Barnes, 1976: Ogungbemile 1978).
The ‘Family Planning council or planned-parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) the only organizing ‘Family Planning’ body in the country was therefore stimulated in part by the need to combat the growing incidence of illegal and often crude abortion methods which is a risk to the women’s life; and partly by the evidence that at least among some sectors of the population women are advocating smaller family size (Lucas and Williams (1973). To create awareness of the need to limit family size and birth spacing, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria embarked on the establishment of family planning clinics all over the country was therefore stimulated in part by the need combat the growing incidence of illegal and often crude abortion methods which is a risk to the women’s life; and partly by the evidence that at least among some sectors of the population women are advocating smaller family size (Lucas and Williams (1973). To create awareness of the need to limit size and birth spacing, the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigerian embarked on the establishment of family planning clinics all over the country. Family planning Advisory committee was instituted, a body charged wit hthe responsibility of advising on how best to disseminate family planning information to the entire population.
Family planning has become part of the government health and child-care delivery system. But in spite of the effort being made by the government health and child-care delivery system. But in spite of the effort being made by the government to effectively pursue this programme it seems that information about modern family planning rarely get to the rural areas. Sometimes, because of lack of information of modern contraceptives the people then resort to folk and unsanitary methods of abortion. Also, because modern contraceptive information is lacking there is no strong motivation to limit family size, but in most urban centres an appreciable impact is being created. Still not much has been done to create the needed awareness in the rural areas. Ilori (1978) study to some degree validate the above assertion, ‘’that there is greater awareness of information on family planning methods among urban women than rural women.’’
1.2 Statement of the problem
Both developed and developing countries are aware of the problems posed by large population growth resulting from unwanted pregnancies and large family size, modern ‘’Family planning’ methods has been identified and advocated for aware a means of controlling population growth world-wide because of its effectiveness.
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The main objectives of this study area:
(a) To determine the level of information of traditional anti-natal practice and modern ‘family planning’ among undergraduates
(b) To examine the attitudes and practices of family planning among undergraduates
(c) To examine in comparative terms, the level of information, attitude and practice of family planning among undergraduates
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is important in various ways. Firstly, its analysis would contribute further to other studies that have previously been carried out on family planning in general and particular those on factors that determine rural – urban fertility differentials in relation to the level of information and practice of modern family planning.
Secondly, it would also give an insight into the general attitude towards large family size. And moreover it would elucidate to what extent family planning information had diffused into the rural areas and the various socio-cultural norms attitudes and believes that had impeded its successful implementation.
Finally, all these would stimulate public interest which would then assist the appropriate authorities to evolve a comprehensive policy as it relates to unwanted pregnancies and large family size.
1.5 Research Questions
(a) What is the level of information of traditional anti-natal practice and modern ‘family planning’ among undergraduates
(b) What are the attitudes and practices of family planning among undergraduates
(c) What is, the level of information, attitude and practice of family planning among undergraduates
1.6 Research Hypothesis
H0: There is a strong relationship between undergraduate students perception and their attitude towards family planning and contraceptives
H1: There is a weak relationship between undergraduate students perception and their attitude towards family planning and contraceptives
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