Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Palestinian Women in Refugee Camps of Nablus Area Towards Family Planning
المعرفة والاتجاهات والممارسات حول تنظيم الأسرة لدى النساء في مخيمات مدينة نابلس
Kanar Wael Amin Alqadi
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The current study aimed at exploring and assessing the current level of knowledge, attitudes and practices among women in the refugee camps of Nablus governorate towards family planning as well as their fertility awareness. A specially designed questionnaire was prepared for this purpose and data were collected during the period October- April, 2004. A total of 500 women were interviewed and collected data were analyzed using SPSS. The mean age of the correspondents was 31 years and the mean age of first marriage was 18.7 years. Around 50% of the correspondents were with elementary educational level and 33.8% were with secondary level. Income of around 300 US $ was reported by 81.8% of the correspondents. Total carriages were 2501 and the average family size was 5.9. With respect to knowledge on family planning concept 77.4% of the correspondents were able to define it and 77.8% recognized health as a major benefit. The most common recognized modern methods of contraceptives were IUDs (96.4%), OCs (96.4%), condoms (69.8%) and injections (51%). Natural family planning methods were represented by 35.4% and 15.4% for breast feeding and withdrawal, respectively. The mainly recognized disadvantage of family planning was health side effects of contraceptives (53.6%). Low level of fertility awareness was observed for menstrual cycle, natural family planning methods and gamete survival. Results show that women are far away of knowing their basic fertile features, and time of ovulation, 45.5% reported to be fertile for 21 days, 52.4% believed that they can get pregnant any time of intercourse, and only one third recognized the first day of bleeding as the first day of the menstrual cycle. Withdrawal as a safe natural method for FP was recognized by 72.8% of the respondents. IUD’s, condoms, and OC’s were the main modern used contraceptives and represented by 25.2%, 21.4%, and 18.4%, respectively. Breast feeding (19.4%) and rhythm (10%) were the most natural used ones. Attitudes toward family planning seem to be positively high as 95% of the study population agreed strongly and encouraged it. It was also found that 85.6% of the surveyed women believed that their spouses encourage family planning as well. On the other hand 97% of them agree that FP is a joint partner decision and 80% believed that religion encourages family planning, which is contradictory to what is reported in some Muslim communities. In conclusion we believe that the highly observed positive attitude is not reflected on practices concerning FP as not good enough for effective outcomes of such programs.هدفت الدراسة الحالية إلى تقييم وتقصي مدى مستوى المعرفة والاتجاهات والممارسات لدى النساء من سكان المخيمات في محافظة نابلس تجاه تنظيم الأسرة و مفاهيم الخصوبة. ولتحقيق ذلك تم إعداد استبانة صممت خصيصا لهذا الغرض. أجريت الدراسة في الفترة ما بين تشرين أول – نيسان 2004 وشملت 500 امرأة تم اختيارها بطريقة عشوائية منتظمة. تم جمع المعلومات من خلال المقابلة الشخصية ومن ثم تم تحليلها إحصائيا باستخدام البرنامج الإحصائي SPSS. كان متوسط الأعمار لدى عينة الدراسة 31 عاما، في حين كان متوسط العمر عند الزواج 18.7عاماً. تشير نتائج الدراسة أن حوالي 50% من العينة كن في مستوى تعليمي أساسي، في حين كانت نسبة المتعلمات في المرحلة الثانوية 33.8% وتبين كذلك أن ما نسبته 81.8% من عينة الدراسة كنّ من العائلات ذوي الدخل المحدود وأن متوسط دخل الأسرة الشهري حوالي 300 دولار. بلغت حالات الحمل الكلية لدى العينة 2501 وكان متوسط الحجم للعائلة 5.9. أما فيما يتعلق بمدى المعرفة، تبين أن ما نسبته 74.4% من عينة الدراسةّ يدركن مفهوم تنظيم الأسرة، و ما نسبته 77.8% منهن اقر بوجود فوائد صحية لتنظيم الأسرة.