By Nasiru Yusuf Tsakuwa
The Director, Medical Services at the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board, Imam Wada Bello has said that modern contraceptive prevalence rate among women in the state, has doubled between July 2016 and January 2020.
The Director revealed this at 10-year anniversary of Network of Reproductive Health Journalists held in Lagos recently.
According to him, finding shows that modern contraceptive use among women in the state has increased from six per cent to 13 per cent during the review period.
He added that demand satisfied by modern contraceptive methods has doubled to 31 per cent in the past three years.
He however said that four per cent of partners of women who are using modern female controlled methods are unaware that they are using a method. Bello noted that the findings indicated that the decision to use family planning (FP) is a joint effort for 27 per cent of women.
“It is a joint decision to not use FP for 62 per cent, while the partner made the decision not to use FP for 22 per cent of non-users,” he said.
On her part, while making presentation during the anniversary lecture, the Executive Chairman of VAPP Law Working Group in Bauchi State, Magistrate Amina Garuba, revealed that three in every 10 women in the state have experienced sexual assault. She said: “In Bauchi State, about three in every 10 women and girls are reported to have been assaulted before the age of 18.
” She noted that Covid-19 lockdown has aggravated rape cases in the state. “For instance, in Bauchi, in the month of March, we have about seven reported cases, and in the month of April, we have 30 reported cases. This has adverse effect not only on women, but community as a whole.
“About 30 per cent of girls and women aged between 15 and 45 have experienced one form of sexual abuse or the other.
Because of partial restriction during Covid-19 pandemic, many victims find it difficult to access services of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) response. Access to referral center was limited due to restriction of movement,” Mrs. Garuba said.
On her part, the wife of Ekiti State governor, Mrs. Erelu Bisi Adeleye Fayemi, said the state has coordinating body for all sexual and reproductive health rights.
Mrs. Fayemi, who was represented by Rita Ilebari, said the body is a multi-sectoral gender based violence management committee made up of all stakeholders, including government and nongovernmental organizations chaired by the First Lady.
This, according to her, has given birth to ‘he4she’ programme comprising young and elderly designated as ambassadors of the programme.
Mrs. Fayemi added that though there are improvements in certain areas regarding reproductive health rights issues, they still need to call for better political will to create enabling legal framework.
She advocated for more community mobilization, engagement and ownership in order to sustain the gains made. In his address, the chairman, Board of Trustees of the NRHJN and chairman, Association of Advanced Family Planning of Nigeria, Mr. Ejike Oji, recalled how the movement started.
He said 10 years ago, based on an outcome of a research, which showed scanty reportage of reproductive health issues in various media outlets, except for HID/ AIDS issues, the objective of founding the network to have a group of specially trained journalists focusing on reproductive health issues came up.
In her opening remarks, the chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja branch and a member of the network’s BOT, Hauwa Shekarau, congratulated members for their efforts and commitment so far, while encouraging them to remain focused on the objectives, adding that the country still needed their input in achieving the set goals.
The theme for the event is; “Nigeria at 60: Progress and Opportunities for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Protection,’ and a sub theme; ‘Covid-19: A Pandemic’s Assault on Gender-Based Violence and Reproductive Health Services.