The concerns among stakeholders on Nigeria’s rising population makes the need for government to key into family planning by investing in it inevitable. It is obvious that one of the major problems confronting Nigeria as a country today is overpopulation.
A country is overpopulated when the number of existing human population exceeds the carrying capacity of its ecological niche.
The continued lamentation approach will certainly not work but pro-activeness as solution to the challenges of overpopulation and poverty in the country could be found in use of contraceptive methods.
Already, Nigeria is projected to be the world’s third most populous country by the year 2050, according to a report released by the United Nation (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This, many say is not a good news for the country going by the challenges the country is facing with 198 million people.
According to stakeholders, the Nigerian environment, its natural resources, economy and facilities are fast being degraded and consumed as a result of human population increase.
A situation where children are left uncared for affects the development of a society as they constitute a nuisance to their immediate environment.
It is important to note that a society where population continues to grow alarmingly will suffer setbacks, such as lack of basic amenities, health care facilities among others. This perhaps informed the decision of China, which has the highest population to put some measures in place to check this trend in order to effectively provide for her citizens.
Nigeria contributes about 10 per cent of global maternal mortality case load and it is second only to India. Even with the worrisome figure, contraceptive utilisation in Nigeria is about 15 per cent while modern contraceptive is about 10 percent.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), no fewer than 20 million women in Nigeria have no access to safe and effective family planning services.
Fulfilling unmet demand for Family Planning in Nigeria, UNFPA says would avert 750,000 unintended pregnancies and reduce by one-third the estimated over 40,000 annual maternal deaths.
With glaring evidences on the potency of family planning as a tool for checking population growth, now is the time for government to think and act differently. Ideally, serious efforts in this regard should now be devoted to making family planning services accessible to women and girls of reproductive age irrespective of their location in the country.
Many medical experts have continued to harp on the need for Nigerians to adopt family planning to regulate population growth and reduce maternal deaths.
This is because better reproductive health care including voluntary family planning can bolster economies and contribute to sustainable development by empowering women to complete their education.
Family planning is said to be critical to achieving sustainable Development Goal 1, to end poverty. It is also key to achieving other goals such as ending hunger as well as promoting good health and gender equality.”
The concept of family planning allows families to space births, control population and see to the improved health of the mother, child, father, family and the nation at large.
Therefore, family planning is unarguably the single, most cost-effective and impactful intervention, in health and development, with the potential to save lives, improve health, empower women and girls, and strengthen communities and whole nations.
Nigerians on their part should know that it is their right to decide the number of children that they want to have and key into the 2018 World Population Day theme which says “Family Planning is a Human Right.”