Vanguard contraceptive users subject of Senegal research

Netw Res Triangle Park N C. 1985 Winter;6(2):5-7.


PIP: The 1219 clients who visited 3 family clinics in the Dakar region of Senegal in January and February 1983 were interviewed and information was collected on the clients' sociodemographic characteristics, their contraceptive attitudes, knowledge and practices, and on factors which influenced their decision to use the services of the clinics. 163 of those interviewed were 1st time clinic users. Senegal's population has little knowledge of family planning methods. In 1981 the government repealed the pronatalist laws imposed by the French during the colonial era, and family planning services were only recently made available on a limited basis, primarily in the urban areas of the country. The current study was undertaken by the Division of Demographic Studies in Dakar to identify the characteristics of vanguard contraceptive users. Thhere are only 3 family planning clinics in the Dakar region. They include 1) the private Croix Blue, which has provided services to the middle class since 1964; 2) a government clinic, which has provided free services since 1976; and 3) a clinic established in 1981 by the Family Planning Association of Senegal (ASBEP). These clinics serve about 10% of the city's family planning acceptors. Private physicians and pharmacies serve the remaining 90% of the acceptor population. The interviewed client population of the 3 clinics was very similar. For the 3 clinics, the proportion of never married clients ranged from 9%-10%, the proportion of clients in polygamous marriages ranged from 23%-25%, and the percent of clients under 30 years of age ranged from 35%-65%. The average age at 1st marriage ranged from 17.8-19.1 years, and the average age at 1st pregnancy ranged from 18.4-19.0 years. Average parity varied from 4.1-5.0, the average number of living children ranged from 3.8-4.6, and the average ideal family size ranged from 4.9-5.1. Approximately 30% of the 1219 clients wanted no more children. Most of the clients used no method or only traditional methods prior to their 1st clinic visit. The type of contraceptive provided by the clinics reflected the orientation of clinic personnel rather then the needs of specific clients. For example, 69% of all 1st time visitors to the government clinic were provided with barrier methods, 65% of all 1st time visitors to the ASBEP clinic received IUDs, and 100% of all 1st time visitors to the Croix Blus clinic had IUDs inserted. Most of the clients of the govenment and ASBEP clinics had heard about the clinic from a friend or relative, and only a few were referred to the clinic by a physician. In contrast, 43% of those who used the services of the Croix Blue heard about the clinic from a physician. The interviewees were asked why they thought other women did not avail themselves of the clinics services. 75% attributed nonuse of the clinics either to a lack of knowledge about family planning or to the negative family planning attitudes of husbands. The findings suggest that 1) clinic personnel should make an effort to provide family planning methods in accordance with the needs of each clinic; 2) an informational campaign should be conducted to provide the population with more family planning information and to combat negative male attitudes, and 3) sterilization services should be made more readily available to women who want no more children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Africa, Northern
  • Africa, Western
  • Attitude
  • Contraception
  • Contraception Behavior*
  • Data Collection
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Economics
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Fertility
  • Government Programs*
  • Health
  • Health Facilities, Proprietary*
  • Health Planning
  • Health Services*
  • Information Services
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Organization and Administration
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Population
  • Population Dynamics
  • Private Sector*
  • Research
  • Senegal
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Statistics as Topic*