Abudu Sakara, Moses Y. Namoog & Samuel Kofi Badu-Nyarko
The practice of modern family planning since time immemorial has been associated with only women. It is, however, now becoming very clear that for any family planning programme to achieve the desired impact, it will need the active and full participation of both the wife and husband. Unfortunately, however, this is not the reality in the Tamale metropolis of Ghana. This is the result of misconceptions and rumors associated with family planning as most men especially Moslem men have been very reluctant in practicing family planning. This paper therefore discusses the misconceptions and rumors associated with family planning, which serve as a hindrance to the participation of Moslem men and the measures to be employed in changing their negative attitudes towards family planning practice in the Tamale metropolis in the Northern region of Ghana. The study employed the survey research design with the aid of purposive and simple random sampling techniques to pursue its objectives. Data for the study were generated from a sample size of 240 married Moslem men by the use of focus group discussion (FGD) and structured interview schedules. The study revealed that though Moslem men have some level of awareness and knowledge about family planning, they were not using any of the methods. This situation was attributed to a large extent to misconceptions and rumors as well as religious and cultural beliefs. The measures identified for effective participation of Moslem men in family planning include intensive and adequate education in both print and electronic media based on accurate and relevant information to deal with not only the benefits but also the unfounded misconceptions and rumors. The focus should be on religious, traditional and other opinion leaders who constitute the reservoir of these religious and cultural belief systems.