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EFFECT OF INADEQUATE CHILD SPACING (ICS) ON THE HEALTH OF CHILDREN

Thesis, Project Topic: Assessing the Effect of Inadequate Child Spacing (ICS) on the Health of Children (0-5 Years) in Ezza Community, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.


CHAPTER ONE

           INTRODUCTION

Child spacing is a term often used in birth control and family planning, it is time or interval between the birth of one child and the birth of the next child, it definitely involves knowing when to conceive again. Health researchers, after considering the pros and cons of 1-5 years of child spacing which has emotional, financial, health and intellectual consequences respectively have proposed that a woman waits for at least 18 to 23 months after child’s birth before conceiving again. This invariably means waiting for at least 2 ½ to 3 years before the birth of another child. Child spacing becomes inadequate when these safe and proposed intervals is altered, when the next birth is either below or above 2 ½ to 3 years. Child spacing is one of the major objectives of family planning and birth control, however, in modern societies there are various methods of family planning and these methods are influenced by the religion, social and cultural practices of the concerned society. Family planning is not only for child spacing but it also solves our social, economic, emotional and health problems because spacing pregnancies is a way of limiting the number of health problems of the family and this brings about a healthy and happy home (Derek, 2009). Inadequate child spacing has posed itself a global challenge from time immemorial. Societal problems ranging from global hunger and malnutrition to over population have been traced to inadequate child spacing not to mention the many health risks involved.

There is emerging evidence that, women with long pregnancy intervals are associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia and labor dystocia (difficulty in child birth or abnormal labor) while women with short pregnancy interval are associated with increased risk of uterine rupture in women attempting a vaginal birth after previous cesarean delivery and uteroplacental bleeding disorders (placental abruption and placenta previa) (Agudelo, 2014). Other adverse effect of inadequate child spacing include maternal death and anaemia.

Furthermore, the socio-economic effect of inadequate child spacing cannot be over emphasized. According to Hamilton (2007), malnutrition is a very common condition among children under 5 years of age. Linking poverty to inadequate child spacing is not difficult. When a family does not have enough to fend for all its members it results to lack. Again when many families in a society are going through the same thing, then poverty becomes a problem in that society. A family can sure have more children than they can fend for without proper family planning and child spacing.

When people do not plan their families, it results to unplanned pregnancies; sometimes some get pregnant frequently out of their desire for a particular sex while some others do for other cultural and religious reasons, (Ellison, 2012).

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Inadequate child spacing remains a detrimental factor to our society at large. It contributes to both maternal and infant mortality, especially infant mortality. The researcher is inspired by the rate of inadequate child spacing and the dangers the children are usually exposed to in Ezza, located in Ohaukwu  L.G.A of Ebonyi State. Problems such as poverty, malnutrition, anaemia, neo-natal/infant mortality have become almost constant in this society majorly, due to inadequate child spacing. Though several projects, such as the Mother and Child Care Initiative, (MCCI) an initiative of the first Lady of Ebonyi State, are on to curb the high rate of poverty and mortality rate, in the state, unfortunately more work still needs to be done and awareness needs to be emphasized and taken to rural parts of the State as well as some cultural practices condemned, practices such as male sex preference.

Finally, it is on the basis of the need for healthy family living, adequate upbringing for children and curbing poverty, malnutrition among children between (0-5 years) of age and the need for its awareness in Ezza that the researcher is motivated to ascertain the effects of ICS on the health of children (0-5 years ) of age.

PURPOSE OR OBJECTIVE OF STUDY

The major objective for this work is to ascertain the effects of inadequate child spacing on the health of children (0-5 years), specifically stated as follows

  1. To determine the knowledge of child spacing among women in Ezza
  2. To evaluate certain socio-cultural practices and beliefs and to determine their effect on child spacing in the community.
  3. To find out most adopted child spacing among the women of Ezza community and find out the most possible reasons.
  4. To determine the pros and cons of ICS as seen commonly in Ezza community, weigh both effects and ascertain what should be adopted.
  5. To emphasize the future effects of inadequate child spacing by families in the Ezza community.
  6. To propose possible ways to curb the problem of Inadequate Child Spacing.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The result of this research will be very important to the Ezza community and to other developing communities, more importantly, it will serve as an awareness tool to the reproductive age group of such society as their knowledge and approach to child spacing will be improved.

This study will also be essential to the society and country at large as it will help reduce population growth which will in turn curb poverty, reduce the occurrence of malnutrition among children, and reduce maternal and infant mortality rate in the country.

Furthermore health workers like me will be more informed about ICS, which will enhance awareness as they will stop at nothing in putting possible victims through basic family planning classes and know what to do in the intervening and saving the lives of both mothers and children.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What are the effects of child spacing on children, (0-5 years)?
  2. What is the level of knowledge the women of Ezza community who fall into the reproductive age group of (19-49) have of child spacing in    general?
  3. What are the effects of socio-cultural beliefs on the decision of child spacing in the Ezza community?
  4. Does the sex of children influence child spacing?

HYPOTHESIS

Null hypotheses formulated to offer direction to the research are as follows

  1. There is no statistical relationship between culture and child spacing.
  2. There is no statistical relationship between child spacing and societal/economic development.
  3. Child spacing has no effect on mortality rate.

SCOPE OF STUDY

This study covers the Ezza Community located in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria. It is carried out on the people of the reproductive age group (19-49) in the Ezza Community.

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