Persistent High Fertility in Cameroon: Young People Recount Obstacles and Enabling Factors to Use of Contraceptives
Maurice Tiibam Kube, University of Yaounde I
Abeng Charles, University of Yaounde I
Ndop Richard, University of Bamenda
High fertility among young people is a public health concern in Cameroon. Unwanted pregnancy, unsafe induced abortions and associated high morbidity and mortality among young women may be attributed to low contraceptive use. This study explored reasons for low contraceptive use among young people. Views of young people about obstacles and enabling factors to contraceptive use in Cameroon were explored. Groups were homogeneously composed by married and unmarried men and women. The data obtained was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Young men and women described multiple obstacles to contraceptive use categorized as misconceptions and fears related to contraception, gender power relations, sociocultural expectations and contradictions, short term planning, and health service barriers. Several other enabling factors that included female strategies to overcome obstacles, changing perceptions to contraceptive use, and changing attitude towards a small family size were exposed. Findings suggest changing perceptions and behavior shift towards contraceptive use.