(An experienced FP service Provider, Hajia Jemila Garba Muhammed showing one of the FP methods known as ‘copper T’ during a 2-day intensive FP training for bloggers in Kaduna organized by Devcoms between 22nd and 23rd of March 2017)
//Olu Shola, Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria//
Can family planning counseling and services help reduce maternal death?
Why the need for pregnancy/child spacing campaigns!
OVER THE YEARS, the rate of avoidable women and under five children mortality rates in sub-Sahara Africa has been of great concern not only to the region, but the global village. Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world and giant of Africa continent bares the largest part of these ratings.
National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2013 reported that, no fewer than 576 out of every 100,000 Nigerian women are dying due to pregnancy related complications. There are many variables responsible for these colossal statistics and may not be captured in this piece at once.
But it is been said by competent authorities like NDHS, WHO and other researchers that, when every Nigerian reproductive age woman get to know, discourse and go for pregnancy/child spacing counseling and services, these death rate can be averted by 40% and that will transform to healthier family and improved economy in the long run.
Why pregnancy/ child spacing?
We do child spacing for the purpose of having healthy woman, healthy baby and healthy husband. Because a woman that has delivery needs rest by a way of giving enough space between this live birth and next delivery at least 24 months.
Less than 24 months, there are complications that may arise because of interval that is not much. The baby she delivers needs her attention more; both nutritionally and filially.
Imagine if she pregnant earlier, that baby she has will not get attention it suppose to get due to short spacing. The baby may then fall sick and even die and the safety of the new intake too cannot be guaranteed because the mother will be traumatized. And again, the husband will not be able to concentrate on his business.
What is the advantage of child spacing to Kaduna State and Nigeria as a whole?
You know over population can cause the state and even the country a lot depending on how it is been handled. Ill health of people living in the state is also a problem to government.
The young ones we are producing now especially the boys, their behavior is worrisome due to lack of attention, lack of care and morals. We all can see that, many of our adolescents are not properly and morally brought up and that is affecting us.
This is because in most cases, the parents who can hardly feed themselves end up producing children far beyond their reach and that will lead to abandonment of some as the case may be.
To have accommodation, feeding, medicals and even qualitative education will be problem. These are possible outcome of not spacing children. By the time we space our children, we will then have a number of children we can take care of.
Another vice now is that of frequent divorce. This has also in some cases traced to what we have been discussing. It has been uncovered that the husband don’t stay at home with his family because the responsibility is too much on him and financially he’s down and emotionally destabilized.
But if he has spaced pregnancies, he will have spaced children, willing and happy to love his family and that will transform to happy home, peaceful Kaduna state and peaceful Nigeria.
What category of women can go for FP services?
All women of reproductive age married or not married. All sexual active women. All women. Because if you go to a facility it is not immediately the service providers will do the family planning for you. They have to carry out test on them, know their history to know whether they are eligible for a particular method because there are varieties of method. So as long as you are fertile as a woman, you should go for family planning counseling and service.
To achieve maximum results, women especially those that are married need the support of their husbands to do family planning. And family planning clinic is open for everybody both the men and women vogue even the young ones can go and ask what we are doing in the clinic.
Who can provide the services?
Only trained service providers are eligible to provide the services. People should go to professionals. The professionals are those that have received adequate training, tested and certified by relevant authority to provide the services. They always available at federal and state general hospitals and Primary Health Centers (PHC) and the beauty of it is that FP services are free except in some facility where there is no provision of consumables.
(Culled from an interview with Hajia Jemila Garba Muhammed on 23/03/2017.)