North-west Nigeria is a traditionally high fertility setting. Increasing attention is being channeled into scaling up the various interventions that can reduce high fertility, including enhancing contraceptive uptake among women of reproductive age. However, in order to improve demand for contraception, understanding the level of awareness, knowledge and perception of WRA to contraceptive use is essential. This study examines the level of knowledge and perception of WRA to contraceptive use.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in December 2016 in Kebbi and Sokoto states, North-west Nigeria. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 500 women between the ages of 15-49 years in 4 randomly selected local government areas across the states. Data analysis included descriptive and bi-variate statistics.
Results: Only 43.8% claimed to be currently using a modern form of contraception; 82.4% were aware of at least one form of contraception, while health personnel formed the major source of information. The most popular and least common modern contraceptive methods were the male condom (86.8%) and vasectomy (26.6%) respectively. A higher proportion of married respondents (88.8%) than those presently single (68.8%) had good knowledge of contraceptives. Perception of contraceptives was mixed, with majority believing that contraceptives should be made available to every woman, despite stating that it contradicted their religious beliefs.
Conclusion: These results underline the need for policy makers to focus on improving the knowledge of younger age groups on contraceptives and include other information channels such as peer-to-peer discussions to increase awareness.
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