This year’s World Population Day held across the world, but in Lagos State, it’s a gained momentum for mothers who are adopting family planning for the sake of family gains, writes REMMY NWEKE.

Preamble:
A typical Lagosian is a hustler who wakes up very early like 4am every morning in readiness in pursuit of a family well-being; be it man or woman. As such, social commentators have observed that for such people, the possible recreation is sex among couples, hence, they posited that this paved the way for giving birth by most women on yearly average.

The spate of family planning campaigns across the state touted to have over 20 million population can never be over-emphasised, this is because the socio-economic infrastructure of the state will be over-stretched if families are not properly guided, catered for, even as the nation strives to scale through the inflation and economic depression.

With regards to Family Planning, Lagos State projected to achieve notable percentage by year 2030, bearing in mind that almost on daily basis, people and families come into Lagos to reside. Today, Nigeria has over 190 million citizens, with Lagos State saying it has a population estimate of 17.5 million, although this number has been disputed by the National Population Commission of Nigeria, which put the population at over 21 million as at 2016.

So, this year’s World Population Day (WPD) was held on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 with the anniversary theme on “Family Planning is a Human Right”.

This is Lagos:
Nigeria lays commitment towards scaling-up uptake of family planning (FP) services in the country and following up on the national commitment at the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH) domesticated the Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint ‘scale-up plan’ to address the peculiarities of the state.

The Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint which essentially contains a 5 year work plan (2014-2018) intends to guide family planning programming and high level commitment through adequate resource allocation is aimed at increasing the national contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from the current 15 per cent (NDHS 2014) to 36per cent by year 2018. Lagos State has been identified as an important source for achieving the national target being the most populous and with proactive governance.

Lagos State says its current Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 38per cent is committed towards achieving the CPR target of 74per cent target by end of 2018. Though the target seems a little ambitious in view of the obvious challenges facing the state, the state is poised towards the use of phased result-oriented strategies including the effective engagement of stakeholders at the community level.

What is family planning?
Largely, family planning is defined as the practice of controlling the number of children one has and the intervals between their births, particularly by means of contraception or voluntary sterilization, according to the online encyclopedia.

On the other hand, the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner defined human rights, asrights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

NaijaAgroNet  reports that the World Health Organisation, says that at the time of this report that some 6,428,000 women are using a modern method of contraception and as a result of that contraceptive use, estimated 1,490,000 unintended pregnancies will be prevented, 476,000  unsafe abortions will be averted and about 9,000 maternal deaths will be averted.

FP methods in Nigeria:
The family planning methods available to Nigerians especially spouses include some 5 main types, namely the barrier methods, hormonal methods, Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs) and natural methods.
For instance, the use of barrier methods includes procedures of birth control: spermicide, condom, sponge, diaphragm, and cervical cap. While hormonal consists of use of contraception for birth control methods that prevent eggs from being released from the ovaries, thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and thin the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation.
Equally, IUDs involve use of a tiny device insertable into uterus to prevent pregnancy. It’s long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods out there. Just as there are natural methods including withdrawal techniques.
Mothers: Family planning make us healthier
Obviously based on their human rights, it was a commendation galore for the Lagos State government on its efforts for an improved family planning service delivery and adoption among residents, with mothers unequivocally declaring they are now recording and witnessing more healthy living to the extent they can be called sweet-16, courtesy of upholding their ‘woman rights’ as somewhat said in local parlance.

For those Lagosian mothers who spoke to NaijaAgroNet at a recent field trip to some Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) in Lagos organized by Pathfinders International, they now see the family planning matters as their own human rights, hence they were encouraged to go all out with additional support of their spouses towards making life better and healthier.

Narrating her story, a teacher, Mrs. Oluwaseyi Oluwapadia, who adopted family planning since December 2012, confided in NaijaAgroNet that she has evidently seen the benefit on herself and her children. “My last baby was born about September 11 and will be 7 by this year September,” she declared. She also, acknowledged support and consent of her husband, pointing out that work permission is the only hindrance to keeping up to date with medical visits as at when due, highlighting one key benefit to her as being that family planning helped her to keep fit and look like ‘sweet sixteen.’

At 32, Mrs. Karim Bilikis, told NaijaAgroNet  that family planning is very good and has enabled her to have peace in the home front, asserting that “It allows you to have peace at home, and take care of children up to university level.” Women or mothers precisely have some work and she would like to have time to improve on her education, noted that she is on two months family planning, which she had started using it after her first child.

Bilikis said there is no there is no side-effects unless one misses medical appointment, adding that family planning for her is an chance to have happy family, help your husband. Mrs. Karim revealed that she has plan to have just three children, stressing that she see family planning as a human right. Maintaining that “Women have very important work to do including the exclusive breastfeeding and catering for all the children.”

FP as Human rights for mothers:
Further, Lagosian mothers disclosed that the choice of preferred family options were chosen by themselves without any coercion, with some of those who spoke to NaijaAgroNet  including Mrs. Mojusola Oluwasegun, a staff nurse, Mrs. Akerele Deborah, and Mrs. Florence Famakinwa, alluded to the fact participants willingly chose their plans of choice after careful counselling and affirmation that it’s a human rights to them.

For instance, Mrs. Mojusola Oluwasegun, 30, says she likes family planning, so also her husband, just as she insisted on choosing it herself, obviously in fulfillment of her human rights after making a choice of implant. Noting that the first time she used FP, she was allegedly told her system will change, but today she has found out the truth.

A staff Nurse, who refused name to be mentioned, at the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), Mascara in Alapere, Ikosi, Agoyi-Ketu, Lagos, affirmed that they encourage married women to choose a plan after due counselling. Mothers, she said choose a plan themselves, adding that however, when there are complaints mainly on menses flowing too much and some weight loss, or adding of weight. Describing most of the complaints, especially on the weight as “psychological issues”, while those who have excess bleeding issues are placed on medication.

At PHC Ogudu, a teacher, Mrs. Akerele Deborah, told NaijaAgroNetshe started family planning in 2004 following a visit to a PHC after fourth child. She had informed her husband, and earlier did one family planning for 10 years and the last one was five years, declaring “There was no complaint from my spouse. It’s a great benefit and I really thank the matron that introduced me to family planning.”

Akerele pointed out that the first family planning ever, was condom, which somehow failed her, saying that despite using condom, to she got pregnant, but “Luckily both of us were at home, otherwise it should have been a problem of infidelity.” Emphasizing that family planning has helped her family in spacing out, stressing that fiscal ability matters. Although spacing out children between 2 to 3 years may not be easy, but she advised women to adopt family planning because of themselves.

Equally, Mrs. Florence Famakinwa, 34, told NaijaAgroNet that she started family planning since 2012, but when she wanted to have a second baby, “I stopped and after second child. I decided to start IUD and my husband supported me very well.” She noted that no side effect since she started this one, no issues, adding that the benefit of child spacing is very important and cannot be over-emphasized.

Sum-up:

NaijaAgroNet recollects that Nigeria will definitely scale-up adoption of family planning methods across the state, the way Lagos is going about it, more Nigerians are likely to key into the family planning and at the end, have unlimited benefit of better lives and economic wherewithal to cater for themselves and their agreed and accommodated number of children without losing much sleep.

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This post was originally published at Naija AgroNet by NaijaAgroNet. It has been republished here with permission.

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