With Lagos state being the most populous state in the whole of West Africa, the state government has called on residents to embrace Family Planning (FP) to reduce the population.
The director, family planning and nutrition, Lagos state ministry of health, Dr. Folashade Oludara, who made this call at a three-day advocacy training workshop organised by Pathfinder International said the state is so peculiar when compared with other state of the federation due to the fact that it is accommodating.
Oludara said, “This is the state with the smallest landmarks and has almost 70 per cent of its terrain as riverine and hard to reach and it is the most populous state in the whole West Africa, if not in the whole of Africa. People within Nigeria and outside the country troop in.
“Even if government tries to take care of six million people today, you will see that by the time the Budget is released, that six million has doubled to 12 million. So that is a major challenge, the huge population, the ever growing population that are necessarily not Lagosian.”
She said there are lots of pressure on the government due to the huge population, a population that is not under control, a population of fertility rate of over five per cent, which means that a woman will have an average of five children in her life time.
“We don’t need that amount of children due to the economy crisis we found ourselves today. Two per family should be enough. We need to curb this with the help of family planning,” she added.
Speaking on some of the challenges of family planning, Oludara said, “90 per cent of the people living in Lagos has poor attitude toward quality healthcare services.
“A lot of them go to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). They prefer quacks, unqualified health care within the society. So how do we change the perception of those people? We need the media to assist us in that area,” she added.
She however encouraged women to embrace family planning, as it will not only help them to space their children, thereby giving quality care to them, but productivity will improve and the state will have a lot of empowered women.
Addressing the issue of poor funding from government, the director said, “We know there is inadequate funding in the state and that is why we are advocating for partners to come and support the state.”