FP2020 says Nigeria averted 1.45m unintended pregnancies
The global Family Planning FP2020 says Nigeria has averted 1,450,000 unintended pregnancies and prevented 9,000 maternal deaths through the use of modern contraceptives in 2015.
The organisers of FP2020 conference also commended Nigeria for adding 1,628,000 modern contraceptive users since 2012.
They said this in a statement e-mailed to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
However, the FP2020 noted that the progress rate was slow due to limited access to information about family planning.
They said that due to poor access to information, contraceptive use among women had become very low reflecting a high desire for fertility.
The organisers said only 12.5 per cent of women were provided with information on family planning during their most recent contact with a health service provider.
They said that it is an indication that Nigeria must dramatically expand family planning counselling, noting a wide discrepancy between the rich and the poor on the access to the family planning services.
According to them, only 2.3 per cent of the poorest women were provided information on family planning, compared to 21.7 per cent of the richest women.
FP2020 said: “Regional Progress Family planning use in many countries is on the rise, and there are entire regions where contraceptive prevalence rates are on an upward swing.’’
They said Nigeria has joined world leaders to commit to an ambitious goal during the London Summit Commitment on FP2020 in 2012.
They said: “Nigeria is also committed to increase the percentage of women and couples using contraceptives by two per cent each year to reach 36 per cent by 2018.
“Increase its total financial commitment for reproductive health commodities from N1.9 billion to more than N7.4 billion over four years, an increase of nearly 300 per cent.
“Train at least 3,700 community health workers to deliver a full range of contraceptives, including long-acting methods.’’
They said there is growing cohort of reproductive-age women in Africa, stressing that in Nigeria, the population of women of reproductive age grows each year by more than one million.
They also disclosed: “This means family planning programmes must serve a greater number of women, underscoring the urgency of accelerating progress.”
FP2020 therefore called for increased efforts at changing social norms around family planning in order to eliminate cultural myths around the topic.
They also appealed for the establishment of infrastructure and providers to deliver quality family planning services, improve counselling and education to increase demand for contraceptives, to ensure women exercise their informed choice.