Experts advocate increased family planning use to curb maternal mortality


Against the background of low contraceptive use in Nigeria, two medical  experts have advocated increased use of family plannig to curb maternal mortality in the country.

Both the President, Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), Prof. Oluwarotimi Akinola and Hadiza Galadanci, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, have called on women of reproductive age, 15-49 years, to embrace family planning, saying effective use of the life-saving tool could reduce maternal mortality by 33 per cent.


Akinola and Galadanci made the call during a virtual media training for health reporters and feature writers in Nigeria, organised by Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH) with support from Rotary International and The German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.


The capacity-building programme is expected to span two years.


Although, the federal government target was for Nigerian to attain 36 per cent contraceptive prevalent rate (CPR) by 2020, Akinola lamented that the current CPR in the country was 12 per cent, a situation that was considered poor as far as family planning usage is concerned.


Additional five per cent CPR from traditional methods of family planning raised the total CPR to 17 per cent.


However, the President of SOGON, said comparing the situations in Malawi with 26 per cent CPR, Ethiopia with 27.3 per cent and Rwanda which has reached 45 per cent CPR to that of Nigeria, it’s still very low.


Consequently, he said it has prompted  renewed call on Nigerian men of reproductive age to use family planning so as to key into its numerous benefits.


Although, based on data , national mortality ratio in Nigeria had dropped  from 1,500/100,000 live births in 1988 to 512/100,000 lbs in 2018 NDHS.


Akinola said improved and effective use of family planning would further reduce unnecessary maternal and infant deaths.


On her part, Galadanci who is affiliated to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and Bayero University Kano, while highlighting some of the benefits of family planning, said it could prevent death from high risk pregnancies.


She categorised high risk pregnancies as those that occur too early, such as adolescent pregnancy that is associated with complications and those that are too many such as the fourteenth or fifteenth pregnancy by an individual, which could end up with anaemia or haemorrhage during the course of delivery.


Similarly, she said a pregnancy that occurs too late involving the risk of hypertension, diabetes, among other complications, could lead to fatality as well.


Galadanci who is the director, African Centre of Excellence for Population Health Policy, affairmed that one of the factors that could prevent women from getting high-risk pregnancies was the use of family planning.


She said, “It also improves birth outcome. If you end up with anaemia, hypertension and diabetes while pregnant, your birth outcome is not going to be fantastic; you may end up with babies that are low birth weight, especially when you deliver too early as an adolescent and when you deliver very late with hypertension and diabetes.”






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