Key findings from National Survey conducted by Mekelle University

Factors associated with Fertility 

  • There is high number of desire for children: the mean of ideal desired number of children was 5.2. Sons are preferred than daughters. The mean desired number of boys and girls was 2.5 and 2.2 respectively.
  • Demand for FP use increases with educational status of women
  • The desire to have more children was the popular reason for discontinuation of family planning use followed by fear of side effect
  • Number of children increase as household wealth increase
  • Number of children a women would have decreases with increase in age at first marriage

Misconceptions about FP use

  • 1 in every 3 women believe that using of contraceptive can results in infertility
  • Misconception of FP is common (use of implant &depo that make the women infertile and mad); however it is changing overtime (Amhara)
  • Common misconception about FP (causes infertility, hypertension, unusual weight gain, & headache….women) (High pain, back pain and severe headache. Sometimes, when she stops using FP she may not become pregnant….men )
  • Religious related misconception, lack of awareness; side effects were the most frequently reported de-motivating factors. Other de-motivating factor was for the reason that the men have more than one wife and because they compete with each other to have many children, the women may not accept using FP because they become jea

Source of FP Information

  • The preferable time for radio messages on weekends in the evening ( for women)
  • Health center is the major source of FP service in Amhara and Somali while health post is the major source of FP service in Oromia

Men Involvement and Gender Role

  • 20% of men participants agreed the perception that use of family planning by women without their husbands consent is considered as promiscuous. 20% agrees that attending family planning clinic is only an issue of women but not men.
  • Over 99% of the male respondents have heard any method of family planning ( awareness about FP is universal among men
  • Men’s knowledge of women fertile period is low (11.3 in Amhara, 22.1 Oromia and 2.8% in Somali regions)
  • Husbands have negative attitude towards contraceptive use insisting that ‘a child will grow by its destiny’ also using FP considered as mistrust of relationship
  • Priests or religious leaders usually prohibited their wives and the religion followers from using FP, because they said, the use of FP contradicts with the religion as stated in holy bible. “...God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply; and replenish the earth, and subdue it”.
  • Considering child as an asset, religion, fear of side effects, unjustified rumors (myth) were mentioned by participants as hindering factors for FP use