Family planning experts have called on Nigerians, especially women, to take hold of the opportunities in the use of family planning commodities, to improve on their well-being and quality of life.
They made the call at the event of the 2017 2nd biannual health communications conference, organised by the Association of Nigeria Health Journalist (ANHEJ), in Abuja.
Speaking on the theme: “FP2020: How is Nigeria faring?” and “Subduing the Challenges of Immunisation in Nigeria”, the Director of Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, said the federal government in its commitment to improve on family planning target, has increased its budget from $3 million to $ 4million, adding that the move was aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.
In her goodwill message, IPAS Country Director, Barr Haruna Shekarau, said aside the fact that accurate use of modern family planning method gives women more control over their reproductive lives, it is also estimated that 30 percent of maternal mortality rate in the country will be averted with increased uptake of modern family planning services.
Also speaking, the President, ANHEJ, Mr. Marcus Fatunmole, said while family planning was not focused on forcing specific number of childbirths on families, parents must always think of the wellbeing of their kids both in the present and future.
He said: “When we say family planning, we do not say, couples should give birth to a specific number of children, as done in some developed nations. We only say if a family has capacity to raise two, three, four or more, it can train in school and give a good future. This will help us bring down the high rate of maternal and child morbidity and mortality in the country.”
Addressing the issue of immunisation, the Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who was represented by the Programme Manager, National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordination Center, NERICC, NPHCDA, Dr. Bassy Okposen, said the agency was working to achieve 85 per cent immunisation coverage in the next 18 months, to improve on the present 33 percent coverage as indicated in the 2016/2017 Mics Nic report disseminated recently.