The factors of under-utilization of family planning services by the population
Burundi’s population continues to increase day to day whereas many efforts are being deployed to raise awareness of community members to adhere and use family planning services. Gitega Health District has a low utilization family planning services (22.6%) comparing to the national average of 27% all methods included. This study therefore investigated the factors influencing the underutilization of family planning services among couples of Gitega Health district. Data were gathered from 95 respondents who were randomly selected from Gitega and Giheta communes that make Gitega health District. LQAS methodology was used and a questionnaire was used to collect the information from the subjects. Four research questioned were raised and 4 hypothesis were formulated. CSPro and SPSS software were respectively used to capture and to analyze data. The findings revealed that lack of knowledge of FP methods, Gitega populations ‘culture, distance from homes to health facilities, health staff support and care, contraceptive methods stock out do not influence the underutilization of family planning services. Contrariwise, faith leaders inflict sanctions to couples using modern contraceptives methods (76.7% of our respondents accuse the faith leaders to inflict sanctions to followers who opt to use modern contraceptive methods). Moreover, faith leaders only promote NFP methods whereas the findings showed that on a 100 of our respondents who testify that faith leaders preach about natural contraceptive methods, only 42.5% know how to use them. The other factor that our study revealed to influence the underutilization of family planning services is lack of explanation of possible side effects, and payment for their treatment. In fact, only 59.6% of respondents who have used modern contraceptive methods, were informed about possible side effects while using modern contraceptive methods and out of 100 % of our respondent who experienced side effects, 75.0% have paid the treatment for them. In view of this, it was recommended among others to develop a program to involve faith leaders, and raise their awareness about modern contraceptive methods. Every couple should systematically be informed about possible side effects, and no couple should pay again the side effects treatment. CHWs have to be more incited to operate home visits to increase the level of knowledge of couples, about modern contraceptive methods.
Keywords: Study, Factor, Under-utilization, Family Planning, Reproductive health