Barriers to Male Involvement in Family Planning in Kiambu County, Central Kenya
This is a cross-sectional descriptive study on barriers to male involvement in family planning in Kiambu County, Central Kenya. The specific objectives of the study include; describing cultural and economic factors that impedes male involvement in family planning, and establishing the extent to which cultural and economic factors impede male involvement in family planning initiatives in Kiambu County. The study is premised on the social exchange theory and social cognitive theory. The study was conducted with 60 married men aged between 18 and 55 years who were purposively sampled. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and key informant interviews and analyzed through grounded approach in line with specific objectives. The findings indicate that social factors such as religion, knowledge on FP, gender roles and spousal communication influence male involvement in family planning. Further, majority of married men in Kiambu County have never been involved in any FP project design activities, thus are locked out from involvement. In addition, married men in Kiambu County do not consent to the use of modern FP methods and they are only limited to the use of male condom which is widely known and accepted by many. From the study, Economic factors such as income and unmet need for FP also influence male involvement in FP in that, married men who earn less than KES 10,000 per month in Kiambu County find it too expensive to procure modern FP methods thus prioritizing their income to other necessities. The study recommends that since men shows a positive attitude towards FP, the government and other stakeholders should increase FP service accessibility and availability. FP service providers have to be well trained so as to increase and update married men with the knowledge of the modern FP methods. Community health workers should encourage creation of advocacy groups at community level aimed at leading households to cultural change towards FP services and encourage the uptake of FP services. In addition, the County Government should find a way of training people on debunking the myths especially male members of the household. Finally, the study suggests that a similar study be conducted in other parts of the country to enable a formulation of male involvement in FP policy and program in the whole county.
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