A qualitative study on provider perspectives on the barriers to contraceptive use in Kaliro and Iganga districts, Eastern Central Uganda
Background: Family planning confers unique benefits including preventing unintended pregnancies, improved maternal and child health outcomes and increased women’s access to education and economic opportunities.However, Uganda has a low contraceptive prevalence rate of only 30% and progress in improving maternal and child health outcomes is therefore slow.
Objective: This assessment explored health providers’ qualitative perspectives on the uptake of contraceptives in Iganga and Kaliro districts in Eastern central Uganda.
Methods: This baseline assessment used a qualitative approach with purposively selected respondents aged 20-60 years. A total of two focus group discussions with Community Health Workers and four key informant interviews with facility-based health workers and were conducted. Thematic content analysis was done manually.
Results: The main factors influencing contraceptive uptake in these communities were preference for large families; myths and misconceptions; fear of side effects; spousal and family support; male domination and risk of violence, divorce and polygamy; inadequate human resource capacity and availability; limited community mobilization; and user fees.
Conclusion: The study findings suggest that there is low community knowledge on family planning. A strong focus is also required in building the capacities of health providers to offer long-term and permanent methods in order to increase the availability of family planning options. Family planning interventions should increase the availability of contraceptive methods using gender-sensitive strategies including community mobilization.
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