Attitudes and Opinions of Young People in Mali on Family Planning, Barriers to Contraceptive Use, and Suggestions for Programming

Janine Barden-O’Fallon, Aminata Traore, Maimouna Tounkara

Abstract

The purpose of the research was to investigate Malian youth’s attitudes and opinions about Family Planning (FP), barriers to contraceptive use, and suggestions for FP programming. Qualitative data were collected in focus group discussions (FGD) held with 95 females and males ages 18–24 in the district towns of Kita, Kolokani, Mopti, Sikasso, and Tombouctou. Qualitative thematic content analysis techniques were used to analyze the data. Benefits of FP use were acknowledged; however, it was still considered a taboo topic, especially for unmarried youth. This makes it difficult for youth to access information and services. Many participants expressed a desire to learn more about FP, though they underscored the need for confidential and discrete services. Programming suggestions included improving access to information, raising community awareness, and improving access to methods. The study findings can be used to improve messaging, counseling, outreach, and communication, to improve youth’s reproductive health in Mali. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020; 24[2]:106-114).

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