By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Chairman, Association of Advanced Family Planning of Nigeria (AAFPN), Dr. Ejike Oji has said, that Postpartum family planning helps to reduce both unintended pregnancies and pregnancies that are too closely spaced, and can provide a critical window for a mother and her newborn child to get off on a healthy start to life together.
Dr. Oji who stated this during the 3-day Capacity Training Programme for members of Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria with the Theme: “The Economics of Family Planning and Contraception: Demographic Dividends” in Abuja on Monday noted that already, Nigeria is in a demographic trap by its high population resulting from high fertility rate.
According to him, there is need for conscious effort to slow this down with modern contraception methods to catch up with proportional growth and development.
“It is well known, in fact documented with evidence that women who are newly delivered or even those who just went through post abortion care are at best time to receive counseling for family planning.
“Experts say the period immediately following childbirth presents a number of opportunities to provide the mother and her family with counseling for contraceptives and family planning services.
“Known as Immediate postpartum family planning, it is regarded as a particularly powerful High Impact Practice. This method invites women to consider the size of the family they want, having just experienced the physical and emotional reality of childbirth.
“Postpartum family planning equally allows for time with a healthcare provider to counsel a new mother on which method—hormonal, non-hormonal, long-acting, short-acting or permanent—is best for her.
“Across countries, evidence shows that, among women provided a range of modern contraceptive choices as part of postpartum care, 20 – 50% will leave the facility with a method.
According to him, building immediate postpartum family planning into childbirth care has the potential to spur uptake among a significant, and sometimes overlooked, population: new mothers, saying Nigeria needs to ensure the practice becomes wholesale if it would achieve the goal of FP2020.
The Chairman however informed that the Nigeria currently has a burgeoning young population with high fertility rate yet the uptake of Family planning remains at 14.7 out of every 100 persons in reproductive age bracket.
Dr. Oji who is also the Focal Person for Civil Society Organizations on FP2020, therefore warned that if something is not done urgently, it would really be a dream to achieve demographic dividends which the Country’s population offers at the moment.