The Oyo State Team Leader of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), Mrs Stella Akinso, said on Friday that family planning was a key economic strategy in a recession.
Akinso said in Ibadan that the benefits of family planning went beyond the family level to improving the nation’s health and economic indices.
According to her, family planning in a recession would enable government to plan population growth and optimise the use of limited resources towards development projects for the benefits of the citizenry.
She said that the awareness rate for family planning had increased, but government needed to come on board through adequate funding, to address unmet needs for family planning tools.
Akinso said that whereas there was the political will for family planning, it had not been matched with funding and this has created an unmet need for modern family methods.
“The family planning programme in Nigeria is still largely driven by donors, and government needs to be in the driver’s seat, to own the programme for its sustainability.
“In Senegal, Kenya and Uganda, where the family planning programme is driven by government, there is significant improvement in maternal health.
“The government, not only to just make a statement, needs to put money in training, in monitoring and ensuring quality services and access to various family planning methods,” she said.
According to her, family planning is also a key strategy to avert maternal mortality at childbirth.
She said that there was available evidence that family planning could help to reduce maternal deaths by 40 per cent.
“Family planning contributes to reducing maternal mortality during childbirth by reducing the number of times a woman is exposed to the risk of dying during childbirth.