Encouraging male involvement in sexual and reproductive health: family planning service providers’ perspectives

Razaq Akintunde Akindele, Wasiu Olalekan Adebimpe

Abstract


Introduction: Despite the advantaged position of men in sexual, family and reproductive health matters, their roles in family planning (FP) remains largely invisible. This study examined perception of family planning care providers towards improving male involvement in family planning services utilization in Southwestern Nigeria.

Methods: Descriptive cross sectional qualitative study of perception of secondary care level family planning service providers from four out of the six states in Southwestern Nigeria selected by simple random sampling. A total of eight focus group discussions of 8 eligible providers each were held using a pre tested focus group discussion guide. Discussions were carried out during the monthly providers meetings.

Results: All discussants were trained FP service providers. All respondents reported that men have not been coming frequently to the FP clinic either as a client or to accompany their wives to the clinic. About two-third of discussants said that the most important barriers to male involvement include a lack of accurate information on contraception.

Suggested community based strategies to improve male involvement include creation of awareness on the media, during festivals, sports events, workplaces and during agric cooperatives in the rural areas, using men as outreach workers to reach and educate other men. Clinic based strategies suggested include establishment of stand-alone clinics for men, creating separate hours/entrances for men, giving prompt attention to men, use of men as counselors arranging clinic sessions at convenient time like evenings or weekends and encouraging male friendly services during FP clinic counseling sessions.

Conclusion: If the acceptance of family planning and contraceptive prevalence rate must improve, men should also be targeted by family planning programme/care providers.


Keywords


Family planning, Male involvement, Barriers

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