Factors Influencing Male Involvement in Family Planning in Ntchisi District, Malawi – A Qualitative Study

Astrid A. Dral, Madalitso R. Tolani, Eefje Smet, Anna van Luijn

Abstract

Malawi is among countries with the highest maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and fertility rate (FR) in Africa, among others caused by an unmet need for family planning (FP). In Malawi, FP is seen as a women‘s domain and because of this, male involvement in FP remains lower than wanted. This study aimed to explore influencing factors of male involvement in FP. In this qualitative study, 23 semi-structured interviews were held with 14 men, 5 women and 4 health surveillance assistants (HSAs) in Ntchisi District, Malawi. Transcribed data was analyzed through inductive content-analysis and generated five domains influencing male involvement: health behaviour motivation, gender relations, health behavioural skills, health behaviour information, socio-economic factors. Male involvement in FP could assist in reducing shame about going to the FP clinic, ignorance among men and in increasing understanding of the importance of shared decision-making and responsibilities in FP. This could eventually improve maternal and reproductive health within Ntchisi district. (Afr J Reprod Health 2018; 22[4]: 35-43).

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