By Chioma Obinna
The wife of Lagos State Governor Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday called for universal access to family planning services while urging women to adopt the services because the socio-economic benefits of planning family lead to women’s empowerment as well as economic improvement.
Speaking at the 2021 World Contraception Day event, Sanwo-Olu said there was no better time to put family planning first because it ensures that a woman has enough time to achieve career goals and lead healthier lives.
She said family planning is an informed decision by an individual or couple about how many children to have and when to have them and that the practice involves the use of modern contraceptive methods to adequately space pregnancies.
“Family planning prevents complications in childbirth for mother and child and has the long-term benefits of empowering women and reducing poverty. Families that have the number of children they can afford to raise are able to devote more resources to providing them with adequate food, education, clothing, shelter and other necessities.
“It is undeniable that family planning enables women to pursue their educational and professional aspirations, to acquire more wealth and, in the long term, to contribute to the socio-economic development of their immediate communities.”
She added that when women effectively space their births, they can recover from the previous birth, take care of themselves and the living child, and bond with their children and spouses.
“An effective tool to tackle these problems is for families to have the number of children they can care for. Despite the benefits of family planning, it is disheartening to know that for many women, the right to decide when or if they want to have children is hampered by the lack of access to safe and modern contraceptive methods.
“For example, although contraceptive methods are provided free of charge at public health facilities, the cost of using consumables such as syringes and gloves has been shown to be a barrier to the adoption of family planning,” he said. declared the Sanwo-Olu.
State Health Commissioner Prof. Akin Abayomi said the event on “A New Lagos, Family Planning, a Catalytic Pillar for Women’s Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development” is aimed at to put family planning on the conscience of citizens and center stage. burner of public discourse.
Abayomi said research estimates from 2018 show the state prevented an estimated 167,000 unintended pregnancies, 59,000 abortions and 1,100 maternal deaths.
“Women who space their births can spend more time pursuing their educational and professional aspirations and, in the long run, accumulate more resources. High fertility rates can hamper such opportunities for advancement, increase risks to women’s health and lead to a deterioration in quality of life.
He said that over the years donors and partners have played an important role in financing, purchasing and distributing family planning commodities in Nigeria and that for lasting results, deliberate steps must be taken. to create an enabling environment for indigenous private sector investment in family planning programming. promote true ownership, reduce over-reliance on donor funding, promote a well-functioning supply chain to ensure an uninterrupted stock of commodities and consumables, and remove other barriers to contraceptive uptake in Lagos State.
Previously the director of the post-pregnancy planning project; a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and implemented by the Johnhopkins Center for Communication Programs, Dr Taiwo Johnson noted that all BMGF implementing partners are working to scale up the ‘access to family planning information and services as one of the main pillars for the development of human capital and in particular the empowerment of women.
“As implementing partners, we are supporting the Lagos State government to implement a costed family planning implementation plan that has been adapted from the national family planning master plan.
“Such support transcends service delivery, demand generation and advocacy interventions at all levels of government and the private sector, creating an enabling environment for the provision of voluntary and comprehensive family planning services with the pillars of the family. institutional strengthening used in all aspects of operations for sustainability through strong technical assistance ”.
Johnson added that Lagos State is making progress in meeting the 74 percent contraception rate target assigned by the Federal Department of Health to meet national contraceptive goals.
She noted, however, that while much has been done to achieve the contraceptive rate, there are still more grounds to be covered, especially with regard to the ever growing population of Lagos State, migration from different parts. reduction in donor funding, COVID disruption, reduction in domestic funding for family planning, increased budget for young people, and strong preponderance of private sector providers who have not yet been exposed to health information and services. quality family planning.
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