Hardship: Ebonyi FP Coordinator Encourages Family Planning 

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Maria Orji doubles as Coordinator Family Planning, Ministry of health Ebonyi state and Secretary Ebonyi state FP Technical Working Group. She spoke in a brief interview with RUTH OGINYI on the myths and misconceptions about family planning method. She encouraged our people to embrace family planning uptake and disregard the myths and misinformation from uninformed members of the public.

What is your take on family planning?
We should have positive attitude on family planning . Family planning saves life, family planning makes our home to be happy,  it makes the mother, the child to be healthy and ability to provide for our families what they need, if we run away from it it will not be help us.
Some people misunderstand family planning why?
Actually,  we have heard severally that there are so many stories, myths and misconceptions about family planning that  scare people away from up taking the methods that can protect them from unwanted pregnancies. sometimes some women said they have heard that if you do family planning that even in your next world you will not have children, that you will be infantile. We want to tell people that that is not true. The truth is that all family planning methods are medication prepared from the hormone that is inside the body.
The same way the hormone makes somebody to ovulate , menstruate, maintain pregnancy and support breastfeeding that is  what is extracted and use in doing family planning so the same way it works in your body when it is natural, the same way it works in family planning and the effects wears away just as you are using it. We have the one you take daily, we have the one you take as an injection for three months or two months and at the end of the period the effects wears away . There are the ones you can put in your hand for three years, or for five years or the ones you can put in your womb for 10 year or there about. Immediately that month expires that drug expires too just like any other drug in your body .  So our people need to know the truth that if you take up family planning for the period you want and at the end of that it’s either you remove it or it expires and stop .
Does family planning have special side effect?
Some people said when you get family planning you bleed to death. Usually family planning methods;  some of them we call hormonals are made from the hormone that is inside woman’s body.  When you are taking it,  the one inside the woman’s body will begin to see the one coming as external body,  that is why when we start using family planning from the beginning,  some people will bleed more and that is why when they come to the facility to report , we tell them that this thing is for a moment .It  is not taking your blood and if you measure the blood level of that person, you see that you still have blood the way you have, so that person has to be patient,  within few months, it will normalize.
We use to tell them when it didn’t normalize go to the facility where you took it,  they know what to do and the hormone balances and the bleeding will stop.
Some people will even say family planning is not working.  My neighbor said she took it and the child came out with that. It is not true some of them are usually pregnant and come to take up family planning method thinking that if they take it it will now remove the pregnancy. But because  the baby is already there and you take think  that method will not remove the baby. When it didn’t work instead of you telling people that you were already pregnant before taking family planning you will say heeey! You took it and it didn’t work.
Your word to our women?
Don’t allow anybody to deceive you. Family planning is effective, available, it has little or no side effect.  The side effect is just as when you take to much water on your body  you feel it. Before method uptake, the facility will take you on counselling  on the methods that  if you take it this is what you will feel.
We encourage people to go to nearest government facility where there are trained family planning providers.  They will counsel you on all the methods then you choose the one you want . When you have  chosen  the one you want , they will use what is called World Health Organization  (WHO) eligibility criteria that will tell the provider that this thing is compatible on this person or is not . When they use it and see that the method you choose is good for your body, the provider will give you that.
So people that usually have some issues with family planning method are people that walk to the counter or chemist  to access services without counseling. They did not use  eligibility criteria before giving you a method. So I encourage our people to stop believing in this misconceptions anyone you hear and you are not clear go to a trained government service provider he or she will explain to you. Let us embrace family planning it saves life.//

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