Making Family Planning Services Relevant to Adolescents: Perspectives from Rural Communities in Central Ghana


In lower middle-income countries like Ghana, it is common to find low contraceptive use among adolescents with corresponding high pregnancy outcomes. Evidence points to the fact that the use of contraceptives prevents maternal, neonatal and infant deaths, but in most lower middle-income countries, socio-cultural practices inhibit adolescents’ use. Ensuring the uptake of family planning among adolescents is deemed a necessary means of reducing maternal, neonatal and infant mor-tality. This manuscript seeks to provide contextually relevant approaches to satisfying family planning needs of adolescents in a population lacking it. We employed a qualitative study design from an interpretive paradigm with phenomenology as the methodology to understand societal attitudes towards family planning delivery to adolescents, so as to arrive at contextually appro-priate ways of providing family planning to this needy group. Focused group discussions and in-depth interviews techniques were used in data collection among adolescents, relevant commu-nity opinion leaders and family planning & health services providers. Themes that emerged from data analysis with respect to “perspectives on family planning care delivery to adolescents” and “best ways in addressing adolescents’ family planning needs” are presented, followed by discussion of the issues emerging. A significant and encouraging finding of the study was that opinion leaders and healthcare providers viewed family planning as a means of protecting adolescents against pregnancies and their complications. A key recommendation is for policy makers and political leaders to enact legislations that enable adolescents to have friendly family planning service delivery in all places and at all times.

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Enuameh, Y. , Tawiah, C. , Afari-Asiedu, S. , Nettey, O. , Sulemana, A. , Mahama, E. , Adjei, G. , Boamah, E. , Manu, A. , Gyaase, S. , Zandoh, C. , Amanfo, N. , Asante, K. , Letsa, T. and Owusu-Agyei, S. (2014) Making Family Planning Services Relevant to Adolescents: Perspectives from Rural Communities in Central Ghana. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 852-859. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.411096.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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