By Yakubu Uba
The Borno Commissioner for Health, Prof. Baba Gana, says only 6.7 per cent of married women in the state are using modern contraceptive methods.
Gana made this known on Tuesday in Maiduguri while speaking at an event to commemorate 2023 World Contraceptive Day (WCD).
“In Borno, only 6.7 per cent of currently married women are using the modern contraceptive methods and unmed needs for contraceptives is 17 per cent.
“This figure shows the need to invest, improve and promote the use of contraception.
“We know the appropriate use of contraception is very important to the health and wellbeing of women, as well as the outcome of the newborn baby, ” Gana said.
He said that government health providers and sexual reproductive health partners like UN Population Fund (UNFPA) remain committed in providing the needed awareness and contraceptive services.
Also speaking on family planning in Borno, the Deputy Director, State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Dr Mala Abdulwahab, said there is apathy towards it until the agency changed the name from “Family Planning” to “Child Spacing”.
“We made them realised that it’s not about reducing a community population but about addressing maternal mortality and morbidity,” Abdulwahab said.
He said that out of the 436 health facilities in Borno, only 269 are offering family planning services.
In his remarks on behalf of UNFPA, Mr Kelvin Chukwuemeka, said access to variety of contraceptive methods would ensure that Borno women have access to choose what works best for them, taking into consideration factors such as lifestyle, health considerations and future plans.
“Family Planning, Child Birth Spacing, Contraceptive methods range from hormonal options like birth control pills, patches, and injections, to barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms, and Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) like intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants.
“Each of these method comes with its own set of benefits and potential risks, and by offering options, the people of Borno State can find what suits their preferences and needs.
“This diversity calls for a comprehensive array of contraceptive methods that cater to the unique requirements of everyone. This approach not only empowers the people of Borno to plan their families but also enhances their overall well-being and autonomy,” Chukwuemeka said.
Other stakeholders who spoke on the importance of child spacing include religious and traditional leaders.
This year’s theme for the WCD is: “The Power of Options”. (NAN)