By Nasiru Yusuf Tsakuwa
The chairman of Board of Trustees of the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, Dr. Ejike Orji has said that the use of modern contraceptives reduces maternal mortality rate by 40 per cent in the country.
Dr. Orji revealed this at World Contraceptive Day celebration organised by the network held via zoom, recently. He noted that in Nigeria, contraception is the key to reproductive health which is an individualized service in the healthcare system.
Dr. Orji described unsafe abortion as one of the major catalysts of infertility in the nation, saying that research indicates that contraceptive use reduces 40 per cent of maternal mortality.
He observed that the world contraception day was set aside to focus on the rights of couples to decide freely and responsibly on the number of children they need.
Earlier, the Country Director of Marie Stopes International Organization Nigeria (MSION), Pharm. Effiom Nying Effiom, described women and girls as the most vulnerable during conflict and insecurity as communities became inaccessible for any form of sexual reproductive healthcare services.
In his paper entitled ‘Contraceptive Uptake and Sexual Health Issues in Period of Insecurity ( ensuring youths are safe not sorry),’ Pharm. Effiom explained that 15.4 million women will need access to family planning by 2025 to meet the demand, stressing that, 925,000 adolescents have demand for family planning services every year.
The Country Director, decried over sexual reproductive health consequences on women and girls during insecurity which includes rape and abuse, unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion and poverty.
Also speaking, the president of the association, Mrs. Yinka Shokunbi said the network of reproductive health journalists of the nation was established in the year 2010 as a result of the gap that existed, especially with regards to getting out development messages and information on empowerment from SRHR partners and allies to the people who really need the information for growth and societal development.
She maintained that the media as stakeholders on issues of development have a vital role to play by taking ownership of societal issues around them and being active voice to demand for social justice for the people they represent.
Also speaking, Kano State Reproductive Health coordinator, Dr. Aisha Sani Faruk noted that, there is a dedicated budget line for Family Planning in the state appropriation in addition to other funding sources the Saving One Million Lives (SOML).
She however, decried the shortage of family planning commodity in the state, adding that the Federal Ministry of Health has developed a guideline for state-funded procurement in order to bridge this gap