Maternal Mortality: Youths, IDPs To Be Included In FP Programmes

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BY DOYIN OJOSIPE, Abuja

Youths and the Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) will henceforth be included in Family Planning(FP) programmes, the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning ( AAFP) has said.

Speaking at a Media parley in Abuja, the Chairman, AAFP, Dr Ejike Oji said although success has been recorded so far with the family planning intervention programmes, increase in number of unwanted pregnancies, sexual abuse and maternal deaths among the youths and in IDPs is still a clog in the wheel of national progress.

Oji said, the youths and the IDPs are the missing gap who needs to be heard and also be able to make a choice on whether to be pregnant and when to be pregnant.

“family planning in IDP centers, there’s a lot of sexual abuse going on there and nobody is taking care of them so that’s why we are paying attention to make sure that they have family planning services,

“we also feel that there is a missing group, we call them missing group because they are visible but hard to reach; the adolescents in our homes, if you look at all the family planning services, they are actually geared for the married people, so also we have seen that the youth as young as 15 is already sexually active, if you ignore her, she’ll get unintentionally pregnant and the end might be catastrophic, so we feel this is an area we should focus on,” he added.

The AAFP Chairman further revealed that use of family planning commodities has increased to about 20 percent or more from findings still ongoing

Oji said,”The federal government has launched new reproductive health policy, new communication FP plan, and also the new logo called the green dots and anywhere in Nigeria you find that green dot, you will be able to access family planning services free.

“ We’ve also seen that there is some increase of funding almost 30 percent increase of funding by the participation of Nigeria in terms of making sure that we have commodities, the federal government has increased family planning funding from $3 million to $4 million,

“we have also seen a greater participation by the two faiths, both the Christian and the Islamic religion. A good example, in the last fifth national consultative stakeholders family planning meeting, the Ooni of Ife, the Obi of Onitsha, the Sultan of Sokoto were all there. Some were also represented in persons, so you could see that even the traditional leaders are in support and we must be able to ensure that women space up their children to enhance healthy living,” he added.