Reducing the unmet needs of family planning among women of reproductive age in Northern Region of Ghana


Mail Hikimatu Tuntei-ya Mohammed(1*)
Mail Zaffar Ullah(2)

(1) Nuffield Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
(2) Nuffield Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
(*) Corresponding Author
10.31101/jhtam.1515| Abstract views : 952 | PDF views : 257


The recent Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2014, estimated that 30 % of currently married women have an unmet need for family planning services, with 17% having an unmet need for spacing and 13% having an unmet need for limiting. The objective of the study was to review the unmet need of family planning in order to make appropriate recommendation to improve family planning use in the Northern Region of Ghana. A conceptual framework which outlines the factors that interplay to determine the use of family planning services in Northern Region of Ghana was designed and used for the study. The data were sought from unpublished documents from the Regional Health Directorate of Northern Ghana, websites of Ghana Health Service, online international publications and University of Leeds Library. The unmet needs of family planning in the region was found to result from a number of factors including inaccessibility to family planning services, non-availability of some type of contraceptive methods in the communities, religious beliefs that contradict the use of family planning, traditional and cultural belief system which promotes high fertility preferences, high illiteracy level, non-approval of family planning by men who are the decision makers, misconception about the use of contraception and high poverty in the region. The identified possible strategies for tackling the factors responsible for unmet need of family planning in the Northern Region, community-based family planning services, family planning health education outreach, peer education and religious-based education were found to be considerably effective, feasible and sustainable.


Perinatal;Depression;Prevalence;Risk factors;Instruments;

Full Text:



Agyei-Mensah, S., & Owoo, N. S. (2015). Explaining regional fertility variations in Ghana. Journal of Population Research, 32(3–4), 157–172. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12546-015-9147-7

Ahmed, S., Choi, Y., Rimon, J. G., Alzouma, S., Gichangi, P., Guiella, G., … Tsui, A. (2019). Trends in contraceptive prevalence rates in sub-Saharan Africa since the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning: results from repeated cross-sectional surveys. The Lancet Global Health, 7(7), e904–e911. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30200-1

Ajaero, C. K., Odimegwu, C., Ajaero, I. D., & Nwachukwu, C. A. (2016). Access to mass media messages, and use of family planning in Nigeria: A spatio-demographic analysis from the 2013 DHS. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-2979-z

Akpandjar, G., Puozaa, C., & Quartey, P. (2018). Explaining fertility variation in rural communities: The role of electricity in Ghana. Economies, 6(3), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3390/economies6030040

Al-Mujtaba, M., Cornelius, L. J., Galadanci, H., Erekaha, S., Okundaye, J. N., Adeyemi, O. A., & Sam-Agudu, N. A. (2016). Evaluating religious influences on barriers to the uptake of maternal services among Muslim and Christian women in rural north-central Nigeria. Annals of Global Health, 82(3), 524. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2016.04.421

Aliyu, A. A. (2018). Family Planning Services in Africa: The Successes and Challenges. Family Planning. https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.72224

Ariho, P., & Nzabona, A. (2019). Determinants of Change in Fertility among Women in Rural Areas of Uganda. Journal of Pregnancy, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/6429171

Aryeetey, R., Kotoh, A. M., & Hindin, M. J. (2010). Knowledge, perceptions and ever use of modern contraception among women in the Ga East District, Ghana. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 14(4 Spec no.), 26–31. https://doi.org/10.2307/41329751

Asif, M. F., & Pervaiz, Z. (2019). Socio-demographic determinants of unmet need for family planning among married women in Pakistan. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1226. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7487-5

Askew, I., Maggwa, N., & Obare, F. (2017). Fertility Transitions in Ghana and Kenya: Trends, Determinants, and Implications for Policy and Programs. Population and Development Review, 43, 289–307. https://doi.org/10.1111/padr.12010

Babalola, S., Figueroa, M. E., & Krenn, S. (2017). Association of Mass Media Communication with Contraceptive Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Meta-Analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys. Journal of Health Communication, 22(11), 885–895. https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2017.1373874

Baschieri, A., Cleland, J., Floyd, S., Dube, A., Msona, A., Molesworth, A., … French, N. (2013). Reproductive preferences and contraceptive use: A comparison of monogamous and polygamous couples in northern Malawi. Journal of Biosocial Science, 45(2), 145–166. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021932012000569

Bawah, A. A., Asuming, P., Achana, S. F., Kanmiki, E. W., Awoonor-Williams, J. K., & Phillips, J. F. (2019). Contraceptive use intentions and unmet need for family planning among reproductive-aged women in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Reproductive Health, 16(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-019-0693-x

EK, A.-A. (2018). Perception of Family Planning Use among Married Men and Women in Anomabu Community. Journal of Contraceptive Studies, 03(03), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.21767/2471-9749.100054

Elmusharaf, K., Byrne, E., & O’Donovan, D. (2017). Social and traditional practices and their implications for family planning: A participatory ethnographic study in Renk, South Sudan. Reproductive Health, 14(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-016-0273-2

Fikree, F. F., Abshiro, W. K., Mai, M. M., Hagos, K. L., & Asnake, M. (2018). The effect of peer education in dispelling myths and misconceptions about long-acting reversible contraception among ethiopian youth. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 22(3), 90–99. https://doi.org/10.29063/ajrh2018/v22i3.10

Finlay, J. E., & Fox, A. M. (2013). Reproductive health laws and fertility decline in Ghana. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 123(SUPPL.1), e24–e28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.07.008

Hordern, J. (2016). Religion and culture. Medicine (United Kingdom), 44(10), 589–592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpmed.2016.07.011

Kanyangarara, M., Sakyi, K., & Laar, A. (2019). Availability of integrated family planning services in HIV care and support sites in sub-Saharan Africa: A secondary analysis of national health facility surveys. Reproductive Health, 16(Suppl 1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-019-0713-x

Kebede, E., Goujon, A., & Lutz, W. (2019). Stalls in Africa’s fertility decline partly result from disruptions in female education. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(8), 2891–2896. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1717288116

Machiyama, K., & Cleland, J. (2014). Unmet Need for Family Planning Lack of Access & Attitudinal Resistance. Studies in Family Planning, 2(45), 203–226. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/a/bu.edu/file/d/0BwNcSkeJCPR8YXI2UlNhbHdkMlk/edit

May, J. F. (2017). The Politics of Family Planning Policies and Programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Population and Development Review, 43, 308–329. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2016.00165.x

Novignon, J., Djossou, N. G., & Enemark, U. (2019). Childhood mortality, intra-household bargaining power and fertility preferences among women in Ghana. Reproductive Health, 16(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-019-0798-2

Pinter, B., Hakim, M., Seidman, D. S., Kubba, A., Kishen, M., & Di Carlo, C. (2016). Religion and family planning. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care, 21(6), 486–495. https://doi.org/10.1080/13625187.2016.1237631

Radulovi, O., Šagri, Č., Višnji, A., Tasi, A., & Markovi, R. (2016). The Influence of Education Level on Family Planning. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 42(1), 17–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0447.1967.tb10196.x

Sundararajan, R., Yoder, L. M., Kihunrwa, A., Aristide, C., Kalluvya, S. E., Downs, D. J., … Downs, J. A. (2019). How gender and religion impact uptake of family planning: Results from a qualitative study in Northwestern Tanzania. BMC Women’s Health, 19(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12905-019-0802-6

Thummalachetty, N., Mathur, S., Mullinax, M., Decosta, K., Nakyanjo, N., Lutalo, T., … Santelli, J. S. (2017). Contraceptive knowledge, perceptions, and concerns among men in Uganda. BMC Public Health, 17(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4815-5

Tsui, A. O., Brown, W., & Li, Q. (2017). Contraceptive Practice in sub-Saharan Africa. Population and Development Review, 43, 166–191. https://doi.org/10.1111/padr.12051

USAID. (2017). Peer Education Training Manual on Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Teen Pregnancy Prevention i ii Peer Education Training Manual on Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/publications/Peer-Education-Training-Manual.pdf

Wawrzynski, M. R., LoConte, C. L., & Straker, E. J. (2011). Learning Outcomes for Peer Educators: The National Survey on Peer Education. New Directions for Student Services, 133(133), 41–53. https://doi.org/10.1002/ss

WHO. (2013). Bangladesh and Family Planning: An overview Background. 1–8. Retrieved from http://www.searo.who.int/entity/child_adolescent/topics/child_health/fp-ban.pdf?ua=1

WHO. (2018). Family Planning a Global Handbook for Providers 2018 Edition. Geneva: WHO Publisher.

Yusuf, J. Bin. (2014). Contraception and sexual and reproductive awareness among Ghanaian Muslim youth: Issues, challenges, and prospects for positive development. SAGE Open, 4(3), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244014541771

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31101/jhtam.1515

Article Metrics

Abstract view : 952 times
PDF - 257 times

Cited By


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Hikimatu Tuntei-ya Mohammed, Zaffar Ullah

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Journal of Health Technology Assessment in Midwifery

Indexing by

GarudaSinta Google Scholar Crossref DimensionsDOAJ

Universitas 'Aisyiyah (UNISA) Yogyakarta
Kampus Terpadu: Jl. Siliwangi (Ring Road Barat) No. 63, Nogotirto, Gamping, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55292 
Telepon: (0274) 4469199
Fax.: (0274) 4469204
Email: jhtam@unisayogya.ac.id

View My Stats