Challenges of Family planning (FP) service delivery in rural Malawi: The case of Mzimba district.
ESC Congress Library. Chipeta E. 05/28/14; 50522; A-107
Mrs. Effie Chipeta
Mrs. Effie Chipeta
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Abstract
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Objectives: This study aims at understanding the contextual factors that influence non- use of modern contraceptive methods in a rural Ngoni patriarchal society in Mzimba.  Evidence from this study will help to fully understand the problems that are intricately linked to service environments in rural settings and how these can be addressed to increase contraceptive uptake.


Methods: Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data for this study. A survey was done among currently married women of child bearing age. Client Exit Interviews were done with women accessing FP services. 18  Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and 24  in- depth interviews were done with key infomants which included service providers, women users andn non users of contraception, traditional leaders and policy makers.


Results:


Disparities exist between the number of health care facilities and population size in Mzimba district. The health care facilities in the study serve a much higher population than the national estimates on average number of people per facility. Proximity of the health facilities to the population is another barrier to accessing services. Distances that women seeking FP services walk to get to the nearest facility range from 0.4 kilometres to 20 kilometres. Furthermore, the number of professional and community health workers supporting community FP service provision are very few. Often women seeking FP services go back home empty handed or with a contraceptive method that is not of their choice due to lack of an irregular supply of FP commodities.


 


Conclusion: The limited number of health care facilities and low staffing levels and scarce FP commodities affects the delivery of FP services in Mzimba district and this has negatively impacted on CPR (34.3 percent) which is lowest in Northern districts of Malawi and at national level CPR is at 46 percent. Individuals and couples who want to seek protection from pregnancy are unable to access high quality FP services. This trend has encouraged use of traditional and natural methods of contraception in the area.

Objectives: This study aims at understanding the contextual factors that influence non- use of modern contraceptive methods in a rural Ngoni patriarchal society in Mzimba.  Evidence from this study will help to fully understand the problems that are intricately linked to service environments in rural settings and how these can be addressed to increase contraceptive uptake.


Methods: Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data for this study. A survey was done among currently married women of child bearing age. Client Exit Interviews were done with women accessing FP services. 18  Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and 24  in- depth interviews were done with key infomants which included service providers, women users andn non users of contraception, traditional leaders and policy makers.


Results:


Disparities exist between the number of health care facilities and population size in Mzimba district. The health care facilities in the study serve a much higher population than the national estimates on average number of people per facility. Proximity of the health facilities to the population is another barrier to accessing services. Distances that women seeking FP services walk to get to the nearest facility range from 0.4 kilometres to 20 kilometres. Furthermore, the number of professional and community health workers supporting community FP service provision are very few. Often women seeking FP services go back home empty handed or with a contraceptive method that is not of their choice due to lack of an irregular supply of FP commodities.


 


Conclusion: The limited number of health care facilities and low staffing levels and scarce FP commodities affects the delivery of FP services in Mzimba district and this has negatively impacted on CPR (34.3 percent) which is lowest in Northern districts of Malawi and at national level CPR is at 46 percent. Individuals and couples who want to seek protection from pregnancy are unable to access high quality FP services. This trend has encouraged use of traditional and natural methods of contraception in the area.

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