A Reproductive Health Expert, Mrs. Charity Ibeawuchi, on Wednesday urged Nigerian women to see Family Planning (FP) as a life-saving investment.
Ibeawuchi, Senior Technical Advisor-Advocacy, John Hopkin University, Centre for Communications Programme, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Family Planning prolongs women’s lives and makes them look healthy.
The expert also of the Nigeria Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) said that the NURHI II project, which focuses on FP for women under the childbearing age, started in Nigeria in 2009.
Ibeawuchi said that at the beginning of the project in Nigeria, the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) on the use of the modern FP method was very low and was persistence for three decades.
She said that NURHI Project II came on board as part of the global initiative to promote family planning in countries like Nigeria, Senegal, India, and Kenya.
Ibeawuchi said that NURHI spent the first five years to change the behaviours of Nigerian women, targeting women of reproductive age and increasing opportunities for them, particularly those living in the urban slumps.
She said that NURHI was able to increase other family planning use of CPR from very low nationally 10 per cent to 11.5 per cent in six cities in Nigeria.
She listed the cities like Abuja, Ibadan, Ilorin, Kaduna, Zaria, and Benin, noting that it was a remarkable improvement that led women to go to the clinic for FP.
Also, Dr. Ajoke Ashiru, Chairman, Interfaith Forum, Lagos told NAN that Interfaith was set up by NURHI in 2016 with the aim of advocacy on FP through religious leaders.
Ashiru said that NURHI believes that the religious leaders were seen as a “thin God” by their followers and they could help to drive home the message.
She said that NURHI was using the religious leaders to advocate in terms of FP through Child Bearing Space (CBS) which has become a positive idea.
Ashiru said that it had helped to reduce the problems associated with childbearing age women such as maternity and mortality rate.
She said that Interfaith has visited more than 3,000 religious leaders and had reached out to more than 20, 000 followers in 10 local government areas in Lagos.