Exploring the factors influencing family planning methods in Nyagatare District, Rwanda.
Introduction: This study was conducted in Nyagatare District, Rwanda, to explore the factors influencing family planning methods in the district. Family planning is a service used to regulate the growth rate in low-, middle- and high-income countries. John Guillebaud was wary of the growing population rate and commented that the scale of the population in the world is problematic. He argued, “There are 79 million extra people arriving in the world each year” and adds that there is an estimation of around 60 million deaths and 139 million births. Tedder adds that billions are added in the world constantly where there are already more than 6.7 billion people. Recently, on Monday 31st October 2011, the United Nations reported that the world population had reached seven billion. Aim: The overall aim of the study was to identify factors that influence family planning methods in Nyagatare District in Rwanda. Method: In this study, a quantitative descriptive design with a positivist paradigm guided the whole research process. Two levels of sampling were done. The first was random sampling for the selection of healthcare centres where five healthcare centres were selected out of a total of eighteen. The second level was probability sampling with a systematic strategy, which was used to select the participants at healthcare centres. A total of 137 women volunteered to participate in the study and completed an anonymous questionnaire. The authorisation to carry out the research was obtained from Nyagatare District and five healthcare centres. The research was approved by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Ethics Committee. The data was analysed using SPSS version 19 and the results are presented in tables and figures. Numerical data were tested for their distribution by means of the skewness test. The Kruskal- Wallis test and Fisher’s exact test were done to test the association between family planning methods and socio-demographic factors. Results: The findings revealed four top family planning methods in use in Nyagatare District, namely injection, diaphragm, condom and withdrawal. The family planning methods that are not used in Nyagatare District are emergency contraceptives and implants. Women who reside in Nyagatare District see family planning in a positive way and they agree that family planning is important. Information on family planning in Nyagatare District was sourced from healthcare centres, theradio, nurses and community health workers and a significant 7.3% from the traditional birth attendants. The test of association showed the significance value at marital status with ap-value=0.001. Other socio-demographic factors are not statistically significant. The research report ends with a summary of the limitations of the study, the recommendations directed to the Ministry of Health, local government of Nyagatare district and suggestions for further research.