This research examines the attitudes and behaviours of men towards modern family planning in Gwagwalada area council of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory by assessing men’s knowledge and attitudes to family planning, determining the use of modern family planning methods by men, investigating the extent of involvement of men in family planning choice and use by the couple and evaluating the level of spousal communication in family planning decision making. Quantitative methods were used to collect data from 152 married men residing in four out of the ten wards that make up Gwagwalada area council, while qualitative methods using focused group discussions and in-depth interviews were used to get information from various groups including married men, married women, religious leaders, community leaders and family planning providers. The results showed that majority of the men (53.9%) already had 4 or more children, the mean number of children the respondents had was 3.79 ±1.665SD. Their mean ideal number of children per couple was 5.18± 2.89 SD and some participants noted that only God decides the ideal family size and that it also depends on their financial status. Majority of the men studied were aware of modern family planning methods, however only few of them were currently using a method. Results of focused group discussion and in-depth interviews conducted amongst men in the communities also showed high awareness but low usage with fear of side effects, lack of adequate information and costs as barriers to the use of family planning in the communities. The men had positive attitudes towards modern family planning; however there was poor spousal communication on issues related to family planning. Men were significantly involved in decision making concerning fertility goals and family planning in the community, however they still needed much more enlightenment about its safety so as to dispel the myths surrounding its use. The study therefore recommends that enlightenment campaigns and programmes should be carried out on the benefits of family planning to the members of the community at large; this will enhance acceptability and use of family planning methods in Gwagwalada area council.
Prof. Dr. Bilal BİLGİN