To reduce the high rate of maternal mortality in the country, husbands have been urged to support their wives in the use of family planning and should do away with the notion that family planning promotes promiscuity among women.
Director of Family Health & Nutrition, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Folashade Oludara, who made the appeal, said husbands who prevent their wives from accessing family planning services for the fear of infidelity should desist from such attitude, stressing that family planning is a tool for safe motherhood and not for promiscuity.
Oludare explained: “Family Planning is one of the major components and pillars of Safe-Motherhood. It is a method that assists individuals in deciding the number of children to have and when to have them. This will ultimately improve the economy of individuals, families and the nation as a whole.”
Oludare, who spoke at the Annual Media Forum organised by Development Communications Network, (Devcoms) recently, maintained that family planning and child spacing is one of the most effective ways of reducing maternal deaths arising from preventable causes.
Speaking on the topic titled, “Family Planning, Child Spacing: Empowering People, Building Nations,” she said: “Family planning brings life to mother as a person, it also creates healthy environment for the nation, and it allows our woman to reach old age and attain their full potential because so many women’s destinies are being cut short because of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.”
Lamenting the low patronage of modern contraceptives in Nigeria despite their numerous benefits, Oludare however said the 2013 National Demographic Survey reported contraceptive prevalence rate of 48 percent for all methods in Lagos State.
Findings showed that the country’s Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) is as low as 15.1 per cent which is far from the 36 percent target by 2020.
According to a new study published by the Guttmacher Institute, contraceptive services and maternal and newborn health (MNH) services fall far short of needs in developing countries like Nigeria.
To improve uptake of family planning in the state, Oludara said the Ministry of Health has been making giants strides to ensure that a wide range of modern family planning methods are available and accessible to the target populace.
“This includes provision of free family planning commodities and services at all Public health facilities and private facilities with trained providers, establishment of efficient system of supply and distribution of FP commodities to all providers, and public enlightenment on FP.
She revealed that the uptake of family planning by 600,000 women in less than six months, helped the state in averting 46,000 unsafe abortions, 143,000 unintended pregnancies and 800 maternal deaths.