ATTITUDE OF UNDERGRADUATE SANDWICH STUDENTS TOWARDS FAMILY PLANNING METHODS AT the UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS.
The purpose of this study is to assess the level of awareness of contraceptives among female undergraduate sandwich students at the University of Lagos. Also, the descriptive survey research method was used in the assessment of the respondents’ opinions with the use of the questionnaire and the sampling technique. The population of this study comprised of 2400 sandwich students in the University of Lagos. The variables in the study include the attitude of undergraduate sandwich students and awareness towards family planning at the University of Lagos. In this study, relevant and extensive literature were reviewed under relevant sub-heading such as the method of contraceptives, concept and nature of contraceptives and family planning, origin and evolution of family planning, the benefits of contraceptive, causes of the increase in population growth and rise in fertility rates and summary of the review. This study was delimited to the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos. A pilot study was carried out to prove the reliability of the instrument while content and face validity of the instrument was carried out. The questionnaire was used in this study in order to collect vital information from the selected respondents. The data used in this study were collected through the administration of a questionnaire to the selected respondents and collection of same for data analysis. The hypotheses formulated in this study were tested with the use of the independent t-test and the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient Statistical tools at 0.05 level of significance while the bio-data and the data collected from the students were analysed with the simple percentage frequency counts. A total of 150 (one hundred and fifty) sandwich students in the Faculty of Education were used as participants in this study, thereby representing the entire population of the undergraduate sandwich students at the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Akoka. Equally, 3 (three) null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlational Coefficient Statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. While the bio-data and the research questions were analysed with the use of the simple percentage frequency counts. At the end of the analyses, the following findings were revealed: there is a significant relationship between undergraduate sandwich students’ perception and the use of contraceptives as family planning at the University of Lagos, there is a significant relationship between the attitudes of undergraduate sandwich towards the use of contraceptives and avoidance of pregnancies, and that a significant gender difference exists in the use of contraceptives amongst undergraduate sandwich students at the University of Lagos. Based on the findings of this study, the study recommended among others that sandwich students should endeavour to abstain from sexual activities, but if they cannot abstain from sexual activities before marriage, they should learn how to use the contraceptives in order to avoid the unwanted pregnancies that can occur.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education can be described as a dynamic activity which involves an orderly, deliberate and sustained effort to develop knowledge and skills (Olusakin, 1998). As Awoniyi (1999) puts it, formal education is a process by which the human mind develops through learning at school in stages from pre-primary through primary, secondary to tertiary (university) institution. The present socio-economic situation in Nigeria has made it obvious that the women must be given sound, formal education as their male counterparts are given.
According to Adiele (2000), the education of the girl-child was not a common phenomenon in traditional Nigerian society before independence. In fact, her birth would not attract so much celebration as that of the male-child, and depending on the number of female children the mother had given birth to before her, the birth of an additional girl-child could cost her mother her marriage. This is still a major problem in some homes even among educated men.
Therefore, incessant child-bearing places a woman in a very weak position physically, economically and psychologically, yet barrenness is viewed as a curse in the Nigerian society due to high infantile mortality, the capacity to breed was much valued but advances in the field of medicine have greatly increased the survival rate among both infants and adults. According to Onyeanwu (2001), the incessant child-bearing is, therefore, no longer necessary, instead, it poses a great danger to the health of the mother and also increased family size that cannot be supported with the family resources, especially now that the Nigerian economy has nose-dived and the resultant effect of unemployment among men in the society. Therefore, to improve the living condition of Nigerian families, the life of the women who are the cornerstone of every household should be improved and the regulation of the size of the nuclear family, through family planning, cannot be overemphasized (Lai, 1990).
There has been a lot of discrimination against the female gender. In fact, people just see them as breeding machines, in spite of the availability of family planning. The dissemination of appropriate and relevant information would lead to the acquisition of knowledge skills and women empowerment. This can help in breaking the intractable poverty cycle which many Nigerian families have come to be associated with due to ignorance of family planning devices and the attitude of many women towards the application of such devices.
According to Anyanwu (2002), there are many methods of contraceptives in society. These include the condom; the withdrawal method; the intrauterine contraceptives device, the diaphragm, the spermicides, the douching methods etc. Among all the methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies by the youths in schools, the condom and the pills are the most commonly needed or are used. Apart from its side effects, the variety of pills are used by women in any society today. This is because of its relative effectiveness. Also, 90% of women, especially girls in various school at the tertiary level, use condoms as preventives methods in pregnancies. This is because the condom is easy to use and has virtually no side effect after use. Therefore students both male and female prefer to use them, apart from deriving sexual pleasures they perceived prevention of pregnancy gives them assurance (Uzodike, 2003; Alani, 2002 and Adedoyin, 2004).
1.2 Theoretical Framework
Family planning refers to the services offered to educate men and women about family life and the encouragement given to them to achieve their wishes with regards to the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, securing desired pregnancies, the spacing of pregnancies and limiting the number of children in the interest of overall family and the family socioeconomic status (Enudi, 1986).
According to Amaechi (2003), the Federal Government released a National Policy on Population for development, unity, progress and self-reliance in 1988 included as part of the policy statement was the promotion of awareness among citizens of this country of population problems and the effect of rapid population growth on development and also the provision to every one of the necessary information and education on the value of reasonable family size, the individual family and the future of the nation on achieving self-reliance.
Ajuzie (2000) theorizes that the value of family planning on the stability and the well being of the family need to be taught and the message should reach every woman since we practice the patriarchal family system because some want to oppose the idea of family planning and since men are considered as the head of the family, the decisions regarding the family size and child spacing cannot be taken by the woman alone. The government should not only design but take a conscious effort to see to the implementation of enlightenment and educative programme regarding family methods planning, some of which are: Vaginal douche, Diaphragm with cream, Cream or jelly alone, Use of condom, Calendar safe period calculation, Intra-urine device (I.U.D.), use of pills, Vasectomy, and Bilateral tubal ligation (BTL).
Each of these methods according to Anyanwu (2004) has its own advantages and disadvantages which should be clearly understood before a choice is made.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
There has been a lot of discrimination against the female gender. In fact, people just see them as breeding machines in spite of the availability of family planning.
The dissemination of appropriate and relevant information on family planning would lead to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and women empowerment. This can help to break the intractable poverty cycles that many Nigerian families have come to be associated with due to the ignorance of family planning devices and the attitude of many women towards the application of such devices.
According to Halsall (1977) if women’s health and status remain poor, if their access to land and other facilities continues to be limited and if they continue to be held down by lack of information concerning family, unwanted pregnancies and sexual diseases, the societal development would be retarded. Also, the problem that is involved in the negligence of family planning cannot be overemphasized. For example, without family planning, there will be a population explosion which could bring about a shortage of food and other necessary amenities in the country. According to Uzomah (2004), women who do not expose themselves information, especially on family planning methods have died in their bid to give birth to more children.
This study, therefore, sets out to examine the influence of attitudes of sandwich students towards family planning methods at the University of Lagos.
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to assess the level of awareness of contraceptives among female undergraduate sandwich students at the University of Lagos.
1.5 Research Questions
The study provided answers to the following research questions:
1. Do undergraduate sandwich students take contraceptives or not?
2. Will there be any relationship between the use of contraceptives and avoidance of pregnancies among undergraduate sandwich students?
3. To what extent can the pregnancy rate among undergraduate sandwich students of University of Lagos be examined?
4. Was there a high pregnancy rate among sandwich students of the University of Lagos due to non-use of contraceptives?
5. How can the different types of contraceptives be identified?
6. Is there a gender difference in the use of contraceptives among undergraduate sandwich students at the University of Lagos?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study:
1. There will be no relationship between sandwich undergraduate students attitude and the use of contraceptives or family planning method.
2. There will be no significant relationship between sandwich undergraduate students attitudes and their use of contraceptives.
3. There will be no significant gender difference in the use of contraceptives among undergraduate sandwich students.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The study will be beneficial to the following individuals:
1. Students who are in the tertiary institutions, especially at the University of Lagos, would find this study very helpful because the findings and recommendations would help them identify some of the important contraceptives that are available for use and their effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and contracting of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis etc. This study would enable students to know the most save and effective contraceptives to take in order to avoid effects. This study will enable students to not only identify some available contraceptives but know their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Teachers may equally benefit from the recommendations and findings of this study because it will enable them to identify some contraceptives students use; their effectiveness or otherwise even their after-effects to students health and vitality. Teachers (Lecturers) would find this study quite revealing as its finding would go a long way in helping the perception of their students towards the use of some contraceptives and their effects on them.
3. Parent may find this study very useful as its findings and recommendations would help them to identify some important contraceptives needed by their children at school, especially the undergraduate students at the University of Lagos. This study will help parents know the most effective contraceptives and their usefulness or otherwise to their children at school. With the findings and recommendations of this study, parents would be able to identify some of the contraceptives that may be useful to them also, in their family planning.
4. The Federal Ministry of Health may see this study as a great asset, as its findings and recommendations would enable the ministry to be abreast with the challenges facing those who use contraceptives that are not effective especially the fake ones and this knowledge will assist the ministry to tackle the problem of fake and adulterated drugs in Nigeria.
5. The society may also benefit from this study because the content of this study will help people in the larger society to appreciate the roles contraceptives play in birth and population control. This study will be a reference point to both students, new researchers, old researchers and the general public.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The major challenge to this study was access to the sandwich students. This was a problem because the majority of them are workers and hardly have time to respond to the questionnaires. However, this was overcome by giving them the questionnaire to take home.
1.9 Delimitation of the Study
This study was delimited to the following:
1. Sandwich students of University of Lagos.
2. Male and female
3. Stratified random sampling
4. Sample size of 150
5. Descriptive survey method
6. Simple percentage and frequency count; and inferential statistics of Pearson Product Moment Correlation and t-test at 0.05 level of significance.
1.10 Definition of Terms
Operational terms were defined in this study in the following ways:
1. Fertility Rate: This is the summation of all the fertility obtained from the age-specific rate for each year of childbearing span hence it gives the number of children per thousand of women without any mortality.
2. Contraceptive Prevalence: This gives the proportion in the percentage of a couple (married or sexually active women) of reproductive ages using contraceptive method amongst a population of interest at a time.
3. Family Planning: This refers to the whole range of problems associated with reproduction regulation spacing and limitation, as well as sexual education.
4. Contraceptive Users: This refers to those who do not abandon the use of contraceptive in order to regulate childbirth or to space their childbirth rate. It is the acceptance of birth regulation through the application of contraceptive.
5. Family Planning Programme: This shows the amount of change infertility that can be attributed to the policies. It is measured by finding the difference between fertility level in a given year and the level that would have prevailed in the same period without family planning.
6. Pill: This is a tablet composed of synthetic hormones, which help to prevent pregnancy even when ovaries are released.
7. Attitudes: This refers to the entire behaviour of an individual in relation to the way and manner in which he/she sees or does things.
8. Sandwich Students: These are students who registered for part-time. They are different from full-time students. Their performance is organized by the Faculty of Education..