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The practice of traditional family planning among rural kanuri communities of northeastern nigeria

Authors:Abdulkarim Garba, Abubakar Kullima, Mal Mustapha Adam Kolo, Babagana
Int J Biol Med Res. 2012; 3(1): 1277-1280  |  PDF File


Background: Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest fertility rates in the world, which is promoted by the low utilization of modern contraceptive methods. Yet, many communities have traditional methods of family planning that pre-date the introduction of modern contraceptives. Objective: To obtain the extent of knowledge about traditional family planning methods practices among the Kanuri tribe and reasons for using the traditional methods as opposed to modern methods. Methods: The study applied the qualitative research method. In-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions were used as data collection methods. Analysis was done using Open Code Version 2.1 computer software. Results: Children are highly valued and desired irrespective of their sex among the Kanuri tribe. However, it is an abomination among Kanuri women to have closely repeated pregnancies; a phenomenon they termed konkomi. Other reasons for child spacing are related to child welfare and maternal well-being. Methods for child spacing include prolonged breastfeeding (Nganji Yaye), ornaments in various forms and shapes, spiritual invocations and dried herbs (Nganji Yandeye). Few Kanuri women practice modern method of family planning. Some reasons given by women for not using modern contraceptives were those of husbands’ opposition, fear of delay in return to fertility and damage to the reproductive systems. Conclusion: There is the need for government and development partners to extensively engage the tribe by community enlightenment and sensitization to accept the modern contraceptives; which is more effective, safe and reliable. There is also the need to conduct research on some of the herbs for their possible active ingredients and use as a modern contraceptive.