NURHI pushes for use of fam­ily plan­ning meth­ods in cities

Daily Trust - - HOME FRONT - By Ganiyat Lawal & Judd-Leonard Okafor

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.

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