Managers’ attitudes toward involvement of males in Pakistan’s family planning program

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Male involvement in Pakistan's family planning program has been negligible but for the preponderance of Federal, Provincial, and District government Population Welfare officers who are primarily male. In general, there has been no organized effort to promote male contraceptive methods, and vasectomy services are scarcely available. Selected governmental public health and family planning program managers were interviewed in 1993 to ascertain their knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about male involvement in the family planning program. Although a majority felt that a family planning decision was a joint one between wife and husband, and that male methods were effective, the vast majority of all managers suggested female rather than male contraception should be recommended for the general public. Two-thirds indicated that the public is not informed about the advantage of vasectomy. A majority felt that the lack of educational and IEC activities is a major reason for public inaction. Lack of political commitment and inadequate service provider training were cited as reasons why programs are not directed toward male involvement. Suggestions to increase male involvement were made, including private sector involvement, using community leaders, mass media, and expanding male service facilities.