Group Seeks Media Support On Family Planning

By Sekyen Dadik

A Non Governmental Organisation, Family Health Advocates of Nigeria Initiative FHANI/ISSA, has called for adequate budgetary provisions and prompt release of funds to reduce high maternal and child deaths burdens in Kaduna State.

Kaduna has a maternal death ratio of 1024 per 100,000 live births. A recent survey by ImpactNow reveals that over 4,000 women and 28,000 children will be saved from dying over the next three years, if appropriate investment is made in family planning.

This is in addition to saving over N1 billion in healthcare cost, over the same period and averting over 730,000 unintended pregnancies.

Chairman of FHANI/ISSA, Malam Shehu Usman Makarfi in paper at a breakfast meeting with Media Executive in Kaduna said, the goal of meeting Nigeria’s Contraceptives Prevalent Rate (CPR), could be attained if all barriers to family planning are removed – Kaduna is expected to raise its CPR to 46.5% from its present level of 24.4% by 2018.

Earlier in a remark, Vice Chairman of the organisation, Alhaji Bala Tijjani said FHANI/ISSA has been championing the cause of family health since its establishment by efforts of Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI).

Tijjani who said the meeting was supported by Palladium Group, called for synergy among various stakeholders including traditional rulers, religious leaders and the media in sensitising the populace towards healthy families.

Communication Officer of FHANI/ISSA, Hajiya Hauwa Saulawa noted that to yield positive result on the cause, the media must play its part in enlightening the public on the benefits of child birth spacing to the health of both mother and child.

According to her, there is need for communication development not to emphasize what is wrong with family planning, but to garner sympathy and action from the government, “the main essence of family planning or child birth spacing is to save the lives of mother and child, and also advance economic growth”. She said

The media, Hauwa noted need to inform the public on the choices of child birth spacing methods available, so the family planning goal in Kaduna can be met.

In response, Managing Director of the New Nigerian Newspapers, Alhaji Tukur Abdulrahman; Publisher of The Penmaster Online, Joseph Edegbo; and the Coordinator of Africa Media Development Foundation, Mrs. Sekyen Dadik, pledged to support the cause of family health and other health endeavours in the state.