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With a ratio of one in 13, Nigerian women are at an elevated risk of maternal deaths, compared to one in 26 in sub-Saharan Africa. This is why Daniel Adeleye’s report that family planning users in Lagos are on the rise, comes as cheery news.

THE family planning clinics installed by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) in some selected Primary Healthcare Clinics (PHCs) in Lagos State are gaining roots and yielding the desired results.

To assist residents of the centre of excellence to attain quality lives, the NURHI in 2016 began a 72-hour renovation and equipping of family planning clinics in about 60 selected public health facilities in Lagos State under the aegis of NURHI 2.

A tour of some of these facilities organised by an NGO, Development Communications (Devcoms) with some selected journalists of print, electronic and online platforms, showed that family planning in Lagos State is yielding the desired results among residents.

At Dopemu Primary Health Centre, the clinic register showed that 275 residents of the area visited the PHC for family planning between January and March, 2018.

The Community Health Extension Worker at the facility, Olamide Oladegun, confirmed this while interacting with journalists. She noted that the turnout of residents coming for family planning is shooting up with a minimum of ten users per day.

Oladegun admonished women, especially nursing mothers, to endeavour to go for family planning immediately their babies clock six weeks, to avoid being pregnant while they are still breast feeding.

She said some of the residents have “expressed their joy for adopting Family Planning because it has reduced mortality rates among them and helped them live up to their (desired) standard of living.”

At Odunmbaku PHC in Orile Agege LCDA, the chief nursing officer, Abisola Badejo, stressed on the various family planning methods available for both male and female.

Badejo said, apart from helping with the regular community dialogue, which has geared up the data of users in the Orile Agege area, NURHI has also helped in renovating the Odunmbaku PHC to make it more accessible for the clients’ flow.

“Before I came to this facility in 2016, there was low turnout of users, but now with the help of NURHI 2, the number has shot up.”

“Before NURHI’s intervention, we were having about 20 per cent but now we are having over 90 per cent. On a daily basis, we have at least ten people coming for family planning daily,” she revealed.

Explaining the methods available at the facility, Badejo said, “We offer all family planning methods here in Odunmbaku PHC, except the permanent one, which is called vasectomy or tubal occlusion.

“We offer the pills; we have for the breast-feeding mother and we have for the regular users. We have the injectable for two months, 200ml and the one 150ml taken every 3 months.”

“We have implant, which we insert in the hand. We have for 3years, which is called ‘implanon’ and we have 5years which is called ‘jadelle’. There is another one which we call Inter Uterus Device, IUD, which we insert into the uterus,” she explained.

Speaking on the benefits, the chief nursing officer said family planning helps women save money in terms of buying pads every month, adding that they will be able to space their children and have time for their husbands.

“If a woman is on family planning, she may not menstruate and that does not mean the woman is pregnant.”

Badejo flayed the belief that family planning predisposes women to cancer, saying cancer has hereditary factor, which family planning cannot expose a woman to.

One of the users, who spoke to The Nation, Ramat Ganiyu, a 35-year-old mother of three, opined that family planning is the best source of happy home.

Recounting her ordeal when she got pregnant for her second child, when her first was barely six months, Ganiyu said, “I went through hell. For that reason, I encourage nursing mothers to go for family planning before six weeks after delivery.”

30-year-old mother of two, Temitope Rasheed, encouraged women to embrace family planning, saying she has been enjoying her marriage since she started using it.

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