July 15, 2024

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It’s better to educate girls on family planning than lose them attempting to abort unwanted pregnancy – SFH, stakeholders

Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, Commissioner for Health, Abia State

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It’s better to educate girls on family planning than lose them attempting to abort unwanted pregnancy – SFH, stakeholders


By Steve Oko

Society for Family Health, SFH, as well as stakeholders in the health sector, have argued that it is better to educate young girls on the various methods of family planning to avoid unwanted pregnancy than allow them get pregnant and sometimes die in the process of attempting to abort it.

Senior Learning Advisor, Delivering Innovation in Self Care project, SFH, Dr Oluwaleun Adeleke, spoke in favour of this during a dissemination meeting of stakeholders in Delivering Innovation in Self Care (DISC 1.0) project held in Umuahia, Abia State.

This is as Abia State has sought the extension of the DISC project to rural women to help reduce maternal mortality rate as a result of unplanned pregnancy.

Wawa News Global reports that the meeting was attended by relevant stakeholders including parents and opinion moulders.

Dr Adeleke argued that the consequences of leaving youths in their active sex age to wallow in ignorance of sex education far outweigh the possible risk of any of them trying to abuse the knowledge of sex education.

He explained that the essence of the campaign on family planning was to support women’s independence concerning their reproductive rights.

Dr Adeleke that it would be a diservice to society to deny young girls the knowledge of how to avoid unwanted pregnancy on the pretext that some of them could take undue advantage of such knowledge.

Corroborating this position one of the stakeholders at the meeting, Professor Victoria Akanwa of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, MOUAU, said that those who hide under the cover of religious bias to deny young girls of sex education were doing society more harm than good.

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Professor Akanwa who noted that it is riskier to allow girls to be wrongly taught by their inexperienced peer groups, urged parents to expose their girls to the right information about their sex life to avoid experimentation and the adverse consequences.

In a remark, the Assistant Chief Programme Officer, Society for Family Health, Dr Anthony Nwala, said that the DISC project started in 2020 in the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown as a birth control measure.

He noted that the first phase of the project which is currently active in 15 states including Abia, would be winding down by the end of the May 2024.

Dr Nwala who is also the Team Lead for the project, expressed delight that the project had recorded tremendous success in the pilot states.

In his speech, the Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Kalu Ulu Kalu, thanked SFH for the project but requested its extension to rural areas where, according to him it is most needed.

He said that maternal mortality rate among poor rural women and other risks associated with frequent child birth without adequate spacing could be reduced if women embraced family planning.

” Please help us in the rural communities. Our women are dying because of uncontrolled births”, he yelled.

In her remark, the State Social Behavioural Change Communication Officer on the DISC project, Dr Veronica Chiemela Eze, said that the project aimed at educating women on effective birth control plan through the use of Self injectable contraceptive DMPA-SC (Sayana press) recorded a huge success in Abia.

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Dr Eze said that sayana press which is a Pfizer product on family planning, had been proven to be very effective and widely accepted by many women in the state.

She urged women to embrace family planning and determine the number of births they would give to avoid the stress of unwanted pregnancy especially in the face of the biting economic hardship in the country.

Abia State Family Planning Coordinator, Mrs Iheama Adanma Kelechi, also urged couples to shun religious bias and cultural sentiments against family planning and embrace the measure to maximize their sexual rights without fears of unwanted pregnancies.

In her contribution, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Ifeyinwa Uma-Kalu, said family planning had become more crucial especially in view of the economic realities in the country.

“Pregnancy must be planned for; there should be nothing like accidental pregnancy”, she argued.

Speaking also, Commissioner for Health, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, commended SFH for including Abia among the pilot states for the project, and assured of the state’s willingness to partner with any agency promoting family planning.

” We will not hesitate to support anything that will help avert material mortality in our state”, she said.

The Commissioner said that the current administration in the state placed high premium on the health of the people, hence the allocation of 15% of the state’s 2024 allocation to health.

She noted that it was the first time Abia would record such budgetary allocation for the health sector.

Some women testified of the benefits of family planning, confirming that since the adopted it, they could enjoy their sex lives with their spouse without fear or risk of unwanted pregnancies.

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One of them, name withheld, confessed that her mother in-law had warned her against family planning with the scare that she might not be able to conceive again, a theory she said she had proven to be unfounded.

The middle aged young mother confessed that since she embrace family planning with the consent of the husband, they had not only given birth at their determined time but had continued to enjoy sex without any accidental pregnancy.

According to her, a family planning mobiliser convinced her to opt for the measure.

Similarly, another testifiers said she had been scared about family planning after experiencing heavy menstrual flow and loss of weight following a previous method she had adopted.

But she said that after listening to a lecture on the sayana press method, she decided to go for it, declaring that ever since then, it has not disappointed her.

A presentation made by SFH to the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, showed that women in Abia have preference for self injectable sayana press family planning methods above other methods.

Meanwhile, stakeholders at the meeting harped on the need for women to rise above some unfounded myths and conspiracy theories against family planning, and embrace it as effective birth control measure.

Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email stevemanofgod2000@yahoo.com; wawanewsglobal@gmail.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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