Barriers faced by young adult females in accessing modern contraceptive methods in Mukuru kwa Njenga slums,Nairobi City County
This study was cross-sectional, descriptive with qualitative and quantitative outlook. Guided by the Theory of Reasoned Action, the study focused on the barriers that young adult women face in accessing modern contraceptive methods in Mukuru kwa Njenga informal settlement, Nairobi County. Data collection involved using survey, case narratives and Key Informant interviews and the sample consisted of 100 women aged between 19 and 24 years. Data analysis employed quantitative and qualitative techniques. Data from case narratives and Key informant interviews was transcribed verbatim and subjected to content analysis to extract key themes. Statistic Package for Social Sciences software version 21 was used to analyze quantitative data after coding and cleaning and data was presented using figures and charts. The findings show that although the young adult women are sexually active, they face barriers in accessing and utilizing modern contraceptive methods. These barriers are of social and economic foundation. Myths and misconceptions on contraceptive methods, religious beliefs, gender relations/power and decision-making as well as competing financial needs pose barriers in accessing modern contraceptive methods for young women. Resultantly, there is either low or inconsistent access and utilization of modern contraceptive methods and this would account for the rising cases of unintended pregnancies among young adult women and consequently the rising demand for abortion. The study concludes that the consequences of low contraceptive use among sexually active women can be countered by addressing the underlying barriers. Due to social and economic barriers, women opt to forego contraception and this runs against family planning and population control best practices. The study recommends that it is important to educate young adults and create awareness among them in regard to the importance of contraception and availability of services. With education and sensitization, they can make informed decisions on accessing and using modern ways of contraceptive. It is also recommended that the authorities focus on educating the women/girls as a pathway towards economic independence. This will tackle the problem of low contraceptive use due to low income.
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