1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Family planning is defined by World Health Organization as “a way of thinking and living that is adopted voluntarily, upon the basis of awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation, attitudes and responsible acts taken by individuals and couples, in order to promote the health and welfare of family groups and thus contribute effectively to the social growth and development of a country”. In recent years, the need for studies in family planning to understand the factors determining the fertility, acceptance of the concept of family planning, has been on the upbeat. Acceptance and practices by the people has been felt so strong, that gaining of more specific knowledge about factors determining family planning, its acceptance by mass has facilitated the developing of a suitable program for them. This study has been made to find the reasons for these unmet needs and factors affecting the outcome of family planning program and to have a better understanding of the situation in order help the Government in formulation of polices and modify its approach in this field. In the latter area, the best linear association between the modernity variables (predictor set) and the family planning variables (criterion set) resulted when the criterion set was so weighted that it involved a large amount of adoption and a moderate amount of contraceptive knowledge and attitudes. Overpopulation is a big problem in most countries of the world especially in Nigeria which is a threat to good living and education as a result of limited facilities. Government has intensified campaign for population control through family planning education, yet there is increase in the population at high rate and educated people seem to be conforming. Growth increase seems to be associated with people living in the slum where most illiterate women dwell. It might be that uneducated women lack knowledge or good practice of family planning method, or due to the negative effect it had on their fellow married women, or its acceptability due to religious beliefs, age, family type, and economic challenges. A continuous practice of this may lead to unregulated child bearing which portend problem for the nation’s economic challenges, the health of the woman and well being of the children given birth to. It is therefore necessary to actually situate the knowledge and choice of family planning methods used by these illiterate women and also their attitude towards family planning method generally.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The apathy with which Nigerian women treat family planning issue is a direct revelation of the many wrong conception they hold about it. This could be because there has been little or one-sided information and in some cases, no information about the different sides of family planning issues, socio-economic status, religious belief, culture/tradition, etc. Many literate and illiterate women are afraid to get into family planning because they think it means disobedience to God’s commandment in the Book of Genesis and the African culture which sees children as a gift from God. Hence we have names such as: Olumide (my king has come) Efe (wealth), Oritsemeyiwa (God brought this), etc. Reports of earlier researches have shown more adherences to traditional methods of family planning among the respondents in spite of the fact that the modern methods have been adjudged effective and reliable. Besides, Education has been shown to influence choice of contraceptive method, one wonders if family planning especially, the use of modern methods is real in Obio Akpor L.G.A in Rivers state or just a myth. This has led many families to having too many children that they cannot carter for, making some of them to be nuisance to the society and nation. The problem has also led to over population in the country with not enough resources to carter for; this has contributed to poverty in Nigeria and Africa countries at large. Despite donors support and organised family programmes, Nigeria has had low level of family planning. It is believed that religion, culture/tradition and poverty are factors that have influenced the attitude of the African women towards family planning. Hence, the need to find out the attitude of literate and illiterate women towards family planning.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine attitude of literate and illiterate women towards family planning. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no significant influence of attitude of literate and illiterate women towards the use of family planning methods.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The general public, government and health agencies stand to benefit from this study. The findings of this study will be beneficial to women who will be made more aware of modern family planning methods and whose health will be improved as they utilize these facilities. The findings of this study would enlighten the government agencies that initiate, finance and control all family planning programmes on the need to target both married and unmarried rural dwellers. This study will make a useful contribution in the field of health and population management as it will serve as another source of knowledge in the birth control practices in Nigeria.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on attitude of literate and illiterate women towards family planning in Obio Akpor L.G.A in Rivers.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Literate: The ability to read and write. The modern term's meaning has been expanded to include the ability to use language, numbers, images, computers, and other basic means to understand, communicate, gain useful knowledge, solve problems and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture..
Illiterate: It means inability to read and writeor knowing little or nothing about a particular subject.
Family planning: The practice of controlling the number of children one has and the intervals between their births, particularly by means of contraception or voluntary sterilization.
Attitude: A predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation. Attitude influences an individual's choice of action, and responses to challenges, incentives, and rewards
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