Health experts advocate family planning for sustainable development
Health experts have charged Nigerians to embrace workable family planning methods that would reduce poverty, ensure social protection and healthcare, as well as the successful implementation of government’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They also charged the Nigeria Population Commission (NPC) to live up to its responsibility of determining the country’s population size to enable government adequately plan for people’s welfare.
Chairman, Lagos Chapter of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Dr. Tunji Akintade told The Guardian that with the high rate of the nation’s population, it was necessary to control birth rate to attain quality life.
“We need to understand the concept of family very well and see how best it can work in this part of the world. Remember Bill Gates’ advice when he visited Nigeria that we invest more on health and education. How do we do this in the midst of low economy and population explosion?
“We need to first of all manage our family size in accordance with our pocket This does not mean to regulate the family size alone, but consider death arising from frequent child births, adequate breastfeeding before another pregnancy, proper child spacing, prevention of deaths from abortion of unwanted pregnancies, among others,” he said.
Public health expert, Chima Dike noted that lack of a working population development policy and accurate data was responsible for shortfalls in the nation’s economy and urged the commission to accelerate efforts in ensuring that there were real figures of the number of citizens in Nigeria.
“The nation faces a huge challenge with a housing deficit of 17 million, 12 million kids out of school, water and infrastructure deficit, herders and farmer conflicts, which are all attributable to the country’s estimated over population, are the result of improper family planning and lack of good policies,” he stated.
Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Natalia Kanem, in his message to mark the World Population Day, said family planning was not only a matter of human rights but central to women’s empowerment, reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development.He lamented that despite the importance of family planning in developing regions, about 214 million women still lacked safe and effective family planning methods, due largely to lack of information or services and adequate support from their partners or communities.
This, he noted, threatens their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and communities.“This day, UNFPA calls on governments to fulfill their commitments to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care and reproductive rights, including family planning services and information, as enshrined in the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.“Investments in family planning today are investments in the health and well-being of millions of women for generations to come,” he said.