NURHI pushes for use of family planning methods in cities
The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) says use of modern contraceptive methods has increased among families in urban slum dwellings across six major Nigerian cities in the last five years.
In a report at the end of its four-year project, NURHI found the biggest increase in use of modern family planning methods in Zaria -nearly 16%, compared with 12% in Kaduna, 11% in Ilorin, 10% in Ibadan, 9% in the FCT and 5% in Benin City.
“We’ve seen marked increase in use of modern contraceptive among people in slum areas,” said NURHI director Mojisola Odeku.
Speaking at the dissemination of the report for the project’s end in Abuja, she said there was poor utilisation “because families were not aware of the benefits of family planning, where to go for it and get answers to questions they have about family planning.”
The project found limitations in the scope of family planning options that health workers could provide to women aged 15 to 49.
It also found that up to 17% of women in Ibadan intended to use some family planning method in the next 12 months, compared with 15% in Kaduna, 8% in Ilorin, 7% in Zaria and Benin City and 3% in Abuja.
The project worked by integrating family planning messages with critical life milestones like graduations and send-forth to enable communities see family planning as “a way of life,” said Odeku.
She said adopting modern methods of planning families helped families contribute to and decide their quality of life.
The project hoped to scale up in coming years to reach families in rural areas, as Lagos and Ibadan have already expressed a need, said Odeku.
“We are throwing the net out to all partners. This is the model that has worked. Take it, run with it,” said Odeku.