Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, on Thursday said adequate family planning has the capacity to reduce maternal deaths in the country by at least 30 per cent.

Mr Mamora, who spoke at the media launch of the National Family Planning Campaign by the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH), said Nigeria is still leading in maternal deaths globally.

He said 512 women die for every 100,000 live births in the country, the statistics he said is unacceptable

“Family planning is an important intervention for promoting proper timing and spacing of pregnancies as well as assisting to achieve pregnancies where challenges exist.

“It also promotes maternal and child survival with a potential for reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity by 30 per cent,” he said.

Major impediments

Mamora said several challenges are significantly impeding progress towards the achievement of Nigeria’s modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 27 per cent by year 2024.

He said the most glaring of the challenges is poor funding for family planning.

He said; “Some of the challenges include inadequate financing for family planning at all levels or delayed release of Federal Government of Nigeria’s counterpart funds for the procurement of contraceptive commodities, inadequate funding for Monitoring and Supportive Supervision activities as well as poor state commitment and support for last mile distribution of Family Planning commodities.

“Other challenges include myths and misconceptions and inadequate male involvement in family planning activities.”

High level awareness

Speaking at the launch, the national coordinator, RMCH project, Emmanuel Lufadeju, said Nigeria’s population is 200 million and by 2050, the population will double.

Mr Lufadeju said 60 per cent of the population is below the age of 25 years. Only 5 per cent is above 60 years of age.

He said over 90 per cent of women of child bearing age is aware of the use of contraceptives, unfortunately only 15 per cent of them is using it.

“So our campaign is directed to how to convince women of child bearing age to space their children, make them enjoy better quality by avoiding risky pregnancies,” he said.

Mr Lufadeju explained that most poor countries in the world are the ones having high population hence the need for Nigeria to rusticate itself from this group.

“We must create a high public awareness campaign to be able to convince our people that there is nothing wrong with contraceptives.

“They are approved and used all over the world,” he said.

The national coordinator also said there is a need to promote access to contraceptives because there are many hard to reach communities in Nigeria.

Similarly, Mr Mamora said the ministry is collaborating with development partners to build synergy towards provision of quality family planning information services for prevention of unintended pregnancies as well as for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS.

He also said the media must get more deeply involved in disseminating accurate information on family planning issues to rapidly address the barriers to access to family planning information and services.

“Hence, the Family Planning Media Campaign Launch could not have come at a better time as the country faces challenges that threaten the health and social well-being of women, children, adolescent boys and girls and the vulnerable groups,” he said.

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