Contraceptive use among female head porters: Implications for health policy and programming in Ghana

Cornelius Dassah, Maximillian Kolbe Domapielle, Joshua Sumankuuro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Despite the growing literature on the barriers to contraceptives use among women, the perspective of female head porters has not been exhaustively researched. Using Bronfenbrenner's socio-ecological theory, we explore the factors that influence the contraceptive decision-making of migrant female head porters in the Kumasi Metropolis and the implications for health policy and planning.


A case study of female head porters in the Kumasi Metropolis was conducted. We employed a qualitative approach in the collection and analysis of the data. A combination of cluster, purposive, and convenience sampling procedures was used to select 48 migrant female head porters to participate in semi-structured in-depth interviews. The data collected were analyzed using the thematic analytical framework.


We found the main barriers to the uptake of contraception among the head porters to include high cost of contraceptives, perceived side effects associated with contraceptive use, and the disapproval of a male sexual partners.


The findings indicate that head porters' contraceptive decision-making is largely influenced by their social and economic circumstances. To address these, we recommend a carefully tailored approach, starting with a free National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) enrollment policy for all head porters in the country. There is also the need for the Ghana Health Service, and NGOs in health to work together to create effective awareness among female head porters on the benefits and misconceptions of contraception by incorporating culturally appropriate education that would facilitate the adoption of positive attitudes towards contraception. Additionally, NGOs in health in collaboration with the health facilities should initiate a process that encourages joint reproductive health decision-making among partners which recognises the added value of men's participation. We argue that men's active participation in contraception decision-making could potentially address their scepticism towards uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11985
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2022


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