Family Planning: New study to investigate prevalence of traditional methods use
15 September 2020

A consortium of research organisations and universities in Africa and the UK have announced a new collaborative study to advance knowledge and understanding on the prevalence of traditional methods of contraception in Africa.

The research project titled Re-examining Traditional Methods Use: Desperation or Innovation? is led by the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) in partnership with researchers from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Ghana; University of Kinshasa in collaboration with Population and Health Research Institute (PHERI), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); and University of Portsmouth, UK; together with Akena Associates from Nigeria.  This research is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 8.5 million women use traditional methods such as rhythm (or periodic abstinence), withdrawal, and folkloric methods for contraception. Share on X

The reasons for traditional method use are varied and complex. Understanding and clarifying these reasons is important for family planning policies and programmes, especially those that seek to support women wishing to delay or stop childbearing.

The study will develop and test new family planning (FP) measurement approaches by investigating how to account for and include traditional method users in measurement and programme approaches. Findings should provide recommendations for revisions to questions around traditional methods use in surveys and inform the definition and measurement of “universal access” in accounting for FP preferences.

“We are delighted to embark on this new study. It holds great potential to inform policies and programmes on the most effective approaches to reach wider populations with contraception methods,” says Professor Nyovani Madise, lead researcher on the study and Director of Development Policy at AFIDEP.

The three-year study will look at the motivations, patterns and profiles of women who use traditional contraceptive methods in four African countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. These and other data collected will be made available for re-analysis by researchers.


Click here to read more on the study.

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