The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) has revealed that child mortality rates in the country is on the increase because of low up take of modern family planning methods by the people.
The Programme Director of NURHI,, Mrs Adebisi Salako while speaking on a team, Family Planning: A Tool for Getting HIV/AIDS to Zero in Abuja last week, said that the low uptake of modern family planning methods invariably contribute to the high maternal and child mortality rates in the country, adding that married women in urban areas are twice as likely to use a modern method as their rural counterparts.
She disclosed that the 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) showed that the contraceptive prevalence rate of the North Central region, to which the FCT belongs, is 10.5 percent, slightly higher than the national average of 10.5 percent
According to her, only 20.8 percent of the married women in the FCT are not using any modern method of family planning, despite about 88.5 percent having heard of any modern Family Planning (FP) method”.
“So, we need to look deep and see that what can we do to make good condom assessable to the people, that is one effort there could be other things to do to encourage people to use condom,”she said.
A medical director at Asokoro District Hospital, Dr. Olugbenga Bello in his contributions at the forum, said although there was no hundred per cent safety in the contraceptive, nothing that “people failed contraceptive not that contraceptive, fails us’.
Bello enjoined people not to just walk into chemist and pick any contraceptive, as they should seek the counsel of the experts in Family Planning to know the one that is appropriate for their body system.
He insisted that having an abortion poses greater danger than using contraceptive, wondering why some people preferred to terminate pregnancy while it can be prevented from conception.
Also speaking, the Project Manager, FCT Agency for the Control of AIDS (FACA), Dr Uche Okoro, said “in the past more emphasis was on treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS, while Family Planning was not given adequate attention.”
However, he said, “that was a great mistake because family planning has a critical role to play in the prevention of new infection, especially women who are living with HIV.
“Most of these women who are living with HIV have unintended pregnancy, by so doing, expose more babies to HIV infection, whereas, if they are able to use family planning, they can decide to space and decide when to have their baby, because they do not have the contraceptive devices and method, which are grossly inadequate that is why we are having new infection through mother transmission to the new baby.”