Document Detail

Socio-demographic characteristics of family planning clients and their possible influence on contraception in Malawi.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9604534     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In a survey of family planning clients at the central Teaching Hospital, Blantyre, between July 1 and December 31, 1993, to determine their social, biological and reproductive profiles, contraceptive awareness and previous use, 766 new clients were recruited and interviewed by means of partially structured questionnaire. Their mean age was 27 years, with a range of 15-43 years. Adolescents formed 10.1% and those above 35 years of age were 17.1%. 91.3% were married. While 12.6% had no formal education, 29.7% had secondary school education and higher. Their mean parity and living children were 3.6 and 3.1 respectively. The mean desired fertility was 4.5. 93.3% of all clients had live births in their last pregnancies. Contraceptive awareness was quite high, about 98.0%. However, only 30.9% had ever-used contraceptives before then. When these are looked at against a background of the corresponding situations in the country, it appears that the individuals seeking, accepting and using contraceptives in Malawi, are better off in the various aspects of life, thus suggesting their possible influence on contraceptive use. There is need to review the national family planning programme, address the contraceptive needs of adolescents and women aged above 35 years, improve formal female education, change the prevailing socio-cultural and traditional beliefs and practices which affect women adversely, thus empowering them over affairs of their health.
This study examined the social, demographic, and reproductive profiles and contraceptive usage of women seeking contraceptive services at the largest public clinic in Blantyre, Malawi, during July 1 to December 31, 1993. Data were obtained from a prospective survey among 830 new family planning clients at the Queen Elizabeth Central Teaching Hospital. 69.1% of new clients were seeking contraception for the first time. The mean age of new clients was 27 years. 10.1% of new clients were aged 10-19 years, and 17.1% were aged over 35 years. Almost 30% had a secondary education or higher. 57.7% had only primary school education. 12.6% had no formal education. Better educated women had lower parity, number of living children, and desired fertility. 91.3% were married. 66.3% were housewives. 24.4% were engaged in formal employment. 88.5% of male partners were engaged in formal employment. The mean age at menarche was 15 years. The mean parity was 3.6. Nearly 60% of women aged under 24 years had a parity of 2 or higher. 65.9% had the same number of living children as their parity. 31.1% of women desired 4 children. 13.4% desired a pregnancy within 2 years of the previous pregnancy, which was a poor outcome. Women with a higher number of living children had the desire for the longest birth interval. 98.7% knew at least one family planning method. 30.9% had ever used contraceptives (oral pills and condoms). 49.0% and 42.9% of the 963 clients accepted, respectively, the oral pill and Depo Provera. There was a strong correlation between the methods known and desired, and the methods accepted.
V M Lema; L A Mtimavalye; F S Msiska
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  East African medical journal     Volume:  75     ISSN:  0012-835X     ISO Abbreviation:  East Afr Med J     Publication Date:  1998 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-06-23     Completed Date:  1998-06-23     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372766     Medline TA:  East Afr Med J     Country:  KENYA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  41-6     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi.
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MeSH Terms
Contraception / psychology,  statistics & numerical data*
Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data*
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Prospective Studies
Socioeconomic Factors

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