As part of activities towards marking the year 2021 World Contraception Day (WCD), the Lagos State Government and a coalition of civil societies – Partnership for Advocacy in Child Health and family Health at Scale (PACFaH@Scale) – advocating improved family planning, on Tuesday, assembled experts and government officials in Lagos to review the state’s commitment to family planning and access to contraception in the state and beyond.

The event, which is themed; Family Planning in a New Lagos: A Catalytic Pillar for Female Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development, is currently holding at the Radisson Blu, a hotel facility in Ikeja, Lagos.

According to the organisers, the programme is also aimed at securing commitments from relevant stakeholders.

Ahead of the event, which is scheduled to commence any moment from now, are relevant stakeholders in the state’s health sector including the permanent secretary of the ministry of health, Olusegun Ogboye, while the PACFaH@Scale team is being led by its project director, Shina Ogunbiyi, a professor.

The PACFaH@Scale is an initiative of the development Research and Project Centre (dRPC), a non-profit organisation that is focused on strengthening both the organisational and technical capacities of civil society organisations across the country.

About WCD

Marked on September 26 every year, the World Contraception Day (WCD) aims to recognise the right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children.

The WCD was first observed on September 26 in 2007 by 10 international family planning organisations to raise awareness about contraception and to enable couples to make an informed decision regarding starting a family, so that every pregnancy is wanted.

The theme for the 2021 WCD is “Contraception: it’s your life, it’s your responsibility.”

What data says

According to the World Health Organisation, among the 1.9 billion women of reproductive age group (15-49 years) worldwide in 2019, 1.1 billion have a need for family planning. And of this figure, 842 million are using contraceptive methods, and 270 million have an unmet need for contraception.

The global body says that contraceptive use is much lower in developing countries like Africa, and that one in 10 women has an unmet need for family planning.

WHO has also suggested that globally, the number of women using contraceptive methods would increase by 778 million in 2030

Nigeria in focus

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, the Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (MCPR) for all women currently stands at only 16.6 per cent, the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018, states.

By implication, one in four married women aged 15-49 still has an unmet need for modern contraception. This also further indicates that about 15.7 million sexually active women in Nigeria who want to avoid pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, will still find it very difficult to do so.

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