July 12, 2024
Health featuresLifeStylePlus

Reproductive Health Writers Seek Easier Access To Modern Contraception

Reproductive Health Writers are seeking easier access to modern contraception through stakeholders’ collaboration.

The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria,  NRHJN, in a statement to celebrate the 2023 World Contraception Day are urging partners to concentrate on bridging gaps hindering easier access to modern methods of family planning.

The media advocacy group on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls notes that stakeholders can provide easier access to quality Reproductive health care particularly access to modern contraception when they work together rather than in silos.

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In a statement by its President, Mrs. Yinka Shokunbi and National Secretary, Hajia Sekinah Lawal, ” The 2023 theme, “Redefining Innovation and Equity in Family Planning and Contraception” is apt as it emphasises that 
contraceptive information and services are fundamental to the health and human rights of all individuals.

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According to the media advocates, “quality family lives and development really matter and we note those things that may play critical role in family planning decisions and these include, marital situation, career or work considerations, and financial status”.

While recommending quality time of at least 24 months intervals before attempting the next pregnancy, the reproductive health journalists identify contraception as the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

The writers lamented the consistently low uptake of contraceptives in Nigeria despite its many benefits and several efforts by government and development partners to increase the uptake.

According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, the use of any modern method staggeringly increased from 4 to 12 per cent over 28 years, between 1990 and 2018.

Globally in 2019, 44 per cent of women of reproductive age were using a modern method of contraception.
This comprises 91 per cent of all contraceptive users; the remaining 9 per cent were using traditional methods.

Also in 2022, the contraception prevalence rate among women in Nigeria, was measured at 18 percent.
Among Nigerian women who were married or in a union, the rate stood at 21 percent. Women aged 15 to 49 were considered.

Family planning is the consideration of the number of children a person or couple wishes to have, including the choice to have no children, and the appropriate age at which they wish to have them. 

“Adopting easier access to contraception through partnerships, assists in quality family planning for a sustainable development”, the network of reproduction writers states.

World Contraception Day is observed every 26th September, to raise awareness about the importance of contraception, accessibility, and why being able to use contraception is part of an individual’s reproductive health and rights.

The Day was first observed in 2007, to create awareness of all contraceptive methods available to enable young people make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health.
The prevention of unintended pregnancies helps to lower maternal ill-health and the number of pregnancy-related deaths. 

1953 Biologists John Rock, and Gregory Pincus, team up to develop the birth control pill.

The first ‘official’ contraception to be invented was likely the Condom.
Condoms as a method of preventing STIs have been used since at least 1564.

Rubber condoms became available in 1855, followed by latex condoms in the 1920s.
It is on the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines.

As of 2019, globally around 21% of those using birth control use the condom, making it the second-most common method after female sterilization (24%).
Contraceptives prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the number of abortions, and lower the incidence of death and disability related to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Family planning saves lives.

Types of Contraception include, implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs) injections, oral contraceptive pills and vaginal rings.

The modern methods of contraception include, the pill, female and male sterilization, IUD, injectables, implants, male and female condom, diaphragm, and emergency contraception.

According to Medical Experts, the ideal contraceptive should be convenient, easily available, effective and reversible with the least side effects. It should also prevent sexually-transmitted diseases.

Oral contraceptives, for instance, not only prevent pregnancy, but further reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer and do not change the risk of breast cancer. They protect against acute pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancies, reduce menstrual bleeding and painful menstruation cramps.

However, oral contraceptives increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

NRHJN therefore called on government at all levels to ensure availability of these commodities and easy access to such by all age groups.

Also, efforts must be put in place to ensure that women are not denied their rights to access safe and voluntary family planning services. 

Simply because this will hinder their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

In addition, The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists called for massive awareness creation through sensitisation on benefits inherent in Child-Spacing.

As reproductive health writers and advocates, we encourage the men to support their wives in this aspect and urge every individual Nigerian of Reproductive age, to be intentional and responsible with their sexual and reproductive health and lifestyle irrespective of faith or belief.

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