‘Contraceptive usage averts 167,000 unintended pregnancies, 59,000 abortions in Lagos in five years’
For every 1$ spent on contraceptive services in developing countries, $2.2 is saved on maternal and newborn care and growing fertility rates that are not marched with infrastructural development, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi has said.
Speaking at a business roundtable on family planning, themed: ‘A New Lagos: Family Planning, A Catalytic Pillar for Female Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development,’ Abayomi said: “Evidence reveals that for every dollar spent on contraceptive services in developing countries, $2.2 is saved on maternal and newborn care. Developing nations experience huge burden on their health systems because of growing fertility rates that are not marched with infrastructural development.”
The commissioner stated that family planning prevents unintended pregnancies, averts unsafe abortions and maternal deaths, disclosing that in Lagos State, as a result of growing modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) from about 22.7 per cent in 2013 to 29.1 per cent in 2018, research estimates that the state has averted about 167,000 unintended pregnancies, 59,000 abortions and 1,100 maternal deaths.
“Women who space their births can devote more time to pursue their educational and career aspirations, and, in the long run, accrue more resources. High fertility rates may hinder such opportunities for advancement, increase health risks for women, and lead to deterioration in the quality of life. ” Also speaking at the forum, wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said families that have the number of children they can afford to train are able to devote more resources to providing them with adequate food, education, clothing, shelter and other necessities.
“There is no gainsaying that family planning enables women to pursue their educational and career aspirations, acquire more wealth, and in the long run, contribute to the socio-economic development of their immediate communities.
“When women space their births effectively, they can recover from the previous birth, take care of themselves and the living child and bond with their children and spouses. The growing population in our state and nation has its attendant challenges such as increased rate of unemployment, high rate of poverty, growth of slums, poor access to sanitation, poor health, lack of or poor education and increased crime rates. One effective tool for tackling these problems is for families to have the number of children they can cater for.
“Despite the benefits of family planning, it is disheartening to know that for many women, the right to decide when or whether to have children is being hindered by lack of access to safe and modern methods of contraceptives. For example, although contraceptive methods are provided free in public health facilities, user fees for consumables such as syringes and gloves have been found to be a barrier to family planning uptake.
“Many women in Lagos State who want to delay or avoid pregnancy are currently not using any form of modern contraception, and our goal is to reach these women, their partners and many other women who are yet to understand the need for and benefits of family planning.”
Sanwo-Olu said the socio-economic benefits of family planning cannot be overemphasized, as it leads to female empowerment and economic enhancement. “It ensures a woman has adequate time to achieve her career goals.”