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Nigeria sitting on time-bomb by neglecting family planning, experts warn


Family planning session.

Health experts have declared that the country is sitting on a time bomb if something if family planning (FP) and child spacing is not taken more seriously.

Relying on 2013 statistics, the experts on yesterday in a one day Media Stakeholders Meeting on Family Planning and Child Spacing, said the national average of maternal mortality stands at 576 per 100,000 and this was not good at all as women and babies are not suppose to die at child birth in line with international standards.

Giving an overview of the project on “A better understanding of states’ FP objectives”, media and communication officer of Pathfinder, Somto Atuanya said, funding has been a major challenge facing FP in Nigeria as huge funds are budgeted but very little is released to work with especially getting consumables. She said some states like Kaduna have tried in the release of funds while others have not done well. She charged state governors to release at least 50 percent of budgeted funds for FP on time and strengthen media coverage on FP.
State coordinator, Family Planning in the Ministry of Health, Lucy Enakirerhi said infant and material mortality rate in the state is still high while the percentage of women doing FP is very low. She added that teenage pregnancy is also on the high side and just 18.9 percent of reproductive women are using modern contraceptive methods. She advised women to always visit recognised health facilities for pregnancy and FP as most maternal mortality is as a result of women visiting traditional birth attendants and churches for delivery.

She advised the state to step up FP support as most donor agencies have pulled out of the state due to lack of support.

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