Group Parley Information Officers on Family Planning campaign - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Group Parley Information Officers on Family Planning campaign

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By Abiodun Taiwo

A Non-Governmental Organisation, The Challenge Initiative (TCI) has charged Information managers in Ogun State to assist in propagating the gospel of family planning to the people, saying  lack of knowledge of the various available methods is hampering its acceptance.

The group said the misconception about family planning and its low acceptance in Nigeria on myths, misconceptions and lack of knowledge of the various available methods need intervention of the media outlets .

The Ogun State Programme Coordinator of TCI, Mrs. Adebusola Oyeyemi gave the charge while sensitizing some Information officers of the Ogun State Ministry of Information and strategy in Okemosan, Abeokuta.

Oyeyemi said, the TCI as an NGO, is a platform saddled with the responsibility of assisting the government in achieving its set objectives in the health sector, particularly through family planning.

She disclosed that the major challenge many women have is the misconception about family planning and urged media practitioners to step up sensitisation of Nigerians on the benefits of using family planning methods.

The Programme Coordinator said popular beliefs that family planning methods lead to infertility, cancer and women gaining weight, among others were nothing but myths and misconceptions.

Oyeyemi who decried the high rate of maternal mortality rate in the country, argued that, the use suitable family planning method by women would help reduce the high maternal mortality rate.

She said, "Family planning is one of the major health issues in the country and we have discovered that investment in family planning affect a lot of things around us. 

"Pregnant women are at higher risk because they are carrying another life. The strength that is meant for one life is used for two lives and that automatically put them at risk."

"If anything happens to the woman in the home, it will affect the whole family and this is why investment in family planning is key."

Oyeyemi noted that misinformation prevents most women from seeking family planning, saying, "We are using the media to reorient the people for them to unlearn the myths and misconceptions. And to have even the ones that do not have complete knowledge for them to have complete and correct knowledge about family planning.

Also speaking, Mrs. Jumoke Adekoga listed other barriers of family planning in Nigeria to include: culture, religious beliefs and providers' bias.

She explained that many healthcare providers are biased and are often over burdened, saying this bias prevent them from either offering family planning services or make them give wrong information to women seeking the services.

The methods of family planning, according to her include, natural methods, hormonal methods, such as tablets, injections, implants, adding that all the methods are readily available in various health facilities.

Her words, "When you space your children, the woman will be able to rest, all the reproductive organs will rest and she will have enough time for herself, other children and the family at large. She will be able to also make her contribution, financially to the upkeep of the family."