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Factors Affecting Utilization of Family Planning Services in a Post-Conflict Setting, South Sudan: A Qualitative Study

1 Nursing Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Albaha University, Al-Baha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
2 Nursing Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Buraydah Colleges, Algassim, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;
3 Midwifery Program Director, Academy of Health Sciences, Khartoum, Sudan;
4 Nursing Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Al-Majmaah University, Al-majmaah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

This study aims to explore and examine the conjectures surrounding the utilization of family planning services among currently married couples of childbearing age in Renk County.
This study has adopted a qualitative method to collect data on factors affecting the utilization of family planning services through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, in rural and urban areas of Renk County. It targeted married women, men as well as unmarried men and women. The researchers conducted nine focus group discussions and nine interviews at both Jelhak (rural setting) and Renk (urban setting). The results suggested that the people of Renk County prefer to have large families and therefore choose not to use family planning methods. The data collected was analyzed by means of thematic analysis. This included the construction of a thematic framework, coding, editing and categorization of available data as well as the creation of sub-themes.
The result also suggested that perception is a main factor that affects utilization of family planning services with a majority of the people in Renk and Jelhak preferring to have many children in order to increase the family size for some reasons. These are linked to religion, social stigma and taboo that are attached to childless people or users of family planning methods for birth control purposes.The responses revealed some variation in perception between rural (Jelhak) and urban (Renk) areas. Respondents from Renk area reported that some people use family planning services for economic reasons that involve alleviation of financial difficulties and provision of better education when the family size is small. On the other hand, rural people from Jelhak perceive family planning to be socially un-acceptable. Furthermore, men and women of Jelhak reported that after each birth of a child, married couples avoid sexual relationship for a period of two years as means of family planning. Women of both Urban and Rural settings reported intentions to use conventional methods of family planning without the knowledge of their spouses.
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Copyright Info: © 2015, Waled Amen Mohammed Ahmed, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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