Factors influencing utilization of family planning services in Pabbo Internally Displaced Peoples Camp, Amuru District, Northern Uganda
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Background: Northern Uganda experienced conflict for two decades between the Lord‟s Resistance Army and the government forces and an estimated 1.8 million people were displaced into encampment. A total of 189,360 (90%) of the population of Amuru district were displaced. Pabbo camp had a population of 62,000 inhabitants. The region has a low contraceptive prevalence rate of 11%. Objective: To investigate the factors influencing utilization of family planning services amongst internally displaced person‟s (IDPs) living in Pabbo camp, Amuru district, Northern Uganda. Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted during December 2008 to January 2009 in Pabbo IDP Camp. A modified World Health Organization cluster sampling technique was used. A total of 421 respondents; 190 (45.1%) males and 231(54.9%) females aged 15-49 years were interviewed. Ten respondents per cluster were randomly selected from all 41 clusters (villages) in the camp. Ten key informant interviews and four focus group discussions were conducted; in addition the health unit resources were assessed. Quantitative and qualitative data were analysed using SPSS and content analysis respectively. Results: The contraceptive prevalence rate was (41%). Most (80.1%) of the respondents mentioned at least two family planning methods. The methods most used were injectable (depo provera) and oral pill (80.1%) and (41.6%) mentioned condom use respectively. Factors associated with utilization of family planning services included long period of residency in the camp for over 16 years (AOR 2.95, 95% CI 1.01 – 8.62) and being a farmer (AOR 0.26, 95% CI 0.10 - 0.70). The most common constraints to use of family planning methods were fear of side effects (50.6%) and partner disapproval (20%). Other constraints included few health personnel in the facilities, inadequate training of personnel to provide family planning services, lack of privacy for the clients, stock-outs of contraceptives in the health facilities and irregularities in opening hours of the clinics to provide family planning services to the community. Conclusion and Recommendations: Utilization of family planning methods was low despite high level of awareness about family planning methods. There was need to increase utilization through community-based interventions such as the use of community based distributors for providing family planning services to the displaced community and returnees. Innovative bahaviour change communication strategies were recommended in order to promote and increase family planning services uptake.