By Gabriel Olawale
THE Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, NURHI, has called for increased uptake of modern family planning as a way of averting deaths of women and children in the country.
Project Director, NURHI 2, Dr. Mojisola Odeku, said family planning remains the first pillar of safe motherhood as scientific evidences have shown that it helps to reduce maternal deaths by 30 per cent and improve child survival by 25 per cent.
Odeku, who spoke during the one year review meeting of NURHI 2 in Lagos State, said such improvement in maternal and child survival would help avert about half of the deaths in women and children in Nigeria today if family planning services are scaled up and made available and accessible.
“Generally speaking, family planning is supposed to be a way of life, an informed decision by an individual or a couple as to when to start having children and how much time in between births. It allows mothers rest between pregnancies in order to regain their health and strength so as to enable them reduce the risk of complications during or after pregnancy.”
She noted that majority of people were still using either natural method, condoms or pills. “We also discovered that there were lots of incorrect assumptions and information, coupled with poor access and under-utilization of modern family planning methods, possibly due to the fact that Nigerian health system especially the public hospitals, have become weakened.”