By Blessing Agu
The need for advocacy for the use of modern contraceptive methods as family planning strategies has been stressed.
To this end journalists have been tasked to developing innovative ways reporting reproductive health issues to reduce high incidences of unplanned pregnancies.
This issues of reproductive health and the role of media professionals to adequately provide the largely illiterate population relevant knowledge on modern family methods was the major deliberations at the three-day capacity building workshop on modern trends in reporting reproductive health organised by MARIE STOPES NIGERIA in partnership with NETWORK OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH JOURNALIST OF NIGERIA held at Ibadan , the Oyo state capital.
Declaring the workshop open, Director of Programmes of the organization, Mr Emmanuel Ajah explained that the workshop was held to educate journalists on the need to create awareness on family planning.
He decried widely held beliefs that usually surrounds family planning and encouraged safe abortion so as to enable women give birth to children by choice and not chance.
On his part, a media consultant for IPAS and Marie Stopes Nigeria, Emmanuel Ugoji decrieb poor funding of Family Planning services in Nigeria, and noted that 2019 witnessed a decline as government paid only 956,000 US DOLLARS as against four million US DOLLARS it released in 2018.
Ugoji disclosed that Nigerians fertility rate stood at 5.3% with growth rate of 2.6%,higher than that of developed countries like the US and Great Britain stressing that indices are responsible for high rate of poverty and insecurity in the country.
During a field visit to some hospitals partnering Marie Stopes to provide Family Planning(FP) around Ibadan, some women who adopted FP, insisted that FP has helped them to decide on how to have their babies.
One of them who spoke in an interview, Abisola Moyosore, confirmed she has been married for 15years with two children and currently on family planning.
“I have been on family planning for three years, I heard about it from my boss. I use Coper Trust since 2017. I have never had challenges or side effects while using family planning, in fact, family planning makes me look younger than my age”, she said.
Also, Mrs Olaye Florence said she has been practising abortion before she started using FP. “family planning is good because time I had my kids, I used to do abortion all the time but when I came to this health facility I was told about family planning which I did and I am comfortable with it.
She stated that FP was her husband choice because she is sexually active and fertile. She indicated that during the period she had abortion, she was aware of the negative implications such as weakening the womb, fibroid and infections but the abortion were carried out in hospital were she was given proper medication.
She however advised women to embrace family planning in other to reduce unwanted pregnancies.
With the knowledge and insights gain at the workshop which attracted journalists from across the country, media professionals now have the duty to properly inform the society, safe contraceptive methods in family planning and birth-control.