A body made up of journalists, the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN), a key advocacy stakeholder has called on government and other stakeholders to join hands in closing the wide gap of access to all forms of modern method of contraception.
In a press statement to mark the World Contraception Day 2018, the network said the promotion of safe, accessible modern family planning methods at this point in time in Nigeria, is therefore very crucial towards achieving the global goal of Family Planning by 2020 (FP2020) and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
It said that there is no gainsaying that some family planning methods, such as condoms, help prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
“It has been proven over many decades that family planning/contraception reduces the need for abortion, especially unsafe abortion.
“Family planning therefore strengthens the rights of every especially all women of reproductive ages to determine the number and spacing of their children in their lives,” the statement emphasised.
The network identified about 15 different types of contraceptives, which allow couples to enjoy sex without the risk of pregnancy. These contraceptive methods include: condoms, the diaphragm, the contraceptive Pill, implants, IUCDs (intrauterine contraceptive devices), sterilisation (tubal ligation and vasectomy) and the morning after pill.
Since 2007, the world has been focusing attention especially on issues of contraception and sexual reproductive health.
The World Contraception Day (WCD) takes place on September 26th every year. The annual worldwide campaign centers on a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. Launched in 2007 by 17 Non-governmental Organisations, WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
In 2007 world population hit 6.6 billion and at a global mean fertility rate of 2.7. But Africa’s average fertility rate was 5.5. At the time too, global warming and climate change reached a peak prompting concerns on how to manage the emerging issues as these relate to population development. In 2018, world population rose to 7.6 billion while average fertility rate is 2.51 and Africa has average fertility rate of 4.8.
The global campaign on world contraception day is specifically to improve awareness of contraception. The goal is to allow women to make informed choices about their reproductive health, in the hope that every pregnancy is wanted and intentional and that every life is choice and not by chance.
The theme of the World Contraception Day- “Contraception: it’s your life, it’s your responsibility”.
From the perspective of the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, every pregnancy in Nigeria must be intentional and no pregnancy must be allowed to just happen by any form of accident.
The Network as a key advocacy stakeholder calls on government and other stakeholders to join hands in closing the wide gap of access to all forms of modern method of contraception.
The promotion of safe, accessible modern family planning methods to the last mile at this point in time in our country is therefore very crucial towards achieving the global goal of Family Planning by 2020 (FP2020) and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
There is no gainsaying that some family planning methods, such as condoms, help prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
It has been proven over many decades that family planning / contraception reduces the need for abortion, especially unsafe abortion.
Family planning therefore strengthens the rights of every especially all women of reproductive ages to determine the number and spacing of their children in their lives.
There are about 15 different types of contraceptives, which allow couples to enjoy sex without the risk of pregnancy. These contraceptive methods include: condoms, the diaphragm, the contraceptive Pill, implants, IUCDs (intrauterine contraceptive devices), sterilization (tubal ligation and vasectomy) and the morning after pill.
In a statement to mark the WCD, the Director of The Change Initiative in Nigeria (TCI) Dr. Victor Igharo: “Making access to quality contraceptive services and information should be treated as a human right because it changes and even saves lives of women and girls.
The Government has the responsibility to make modern contraceptives accessible to women and girls most especially in urban poor communities in Low- and Middle-income Countries.
Just as the Government has a major role to ensure uninterrupted provision of quality contraceptive services to its citizens, the women also have the right to demand for these services as part of their fundamental human right.”
Similarly, the Country Director of Ipas Nigeria, Barrister Hauwa Shekarau, in a statement equally noted: “The World Contraception Day 2018 more than ever before provides another golden opportunity to create awareness on the different contraceptive methods as well as reinforce the need for Nigeria to up her game with a view to ensuring adequate allocation of resources to engender availability and access to contraceptive commodities to women in all communities in Nigeria.
Every pregnancy should be one that is planned, wanted, loved and cherished. That way, we engender a happy and prosperous society. This has been the cornerstone of our work at Ipas”.
How does contraception help?
- Planning a pregnancy using effective contraception has advantages:
- Every woman needs to discuss with a care provider the best suitable contraception before choosing one because there is no one cap fits all modern contraception.
- An effective contraception helps to optimize the health of the woman prior to pregnancy by stabilizing any medical condition or getting the medical condition under better control
- It helps care provider plan the switching of medications (if a woman has health condition) to those that are acceptable during pregnancy
- It helps to avoid complications in pregnancy by entering pregnancy in the best state of health
When is a good time to discuss contraception?
About half of the pregnancies in the United States or elsewhere are unplanned. Women of reproductive age should discuss contraception with a health care provider regularly. When a woman with a medical condition is considering pregnancy, she should discuss the timing of the pregnancy with her maternity care provider and with an obstetric medicine physician.
Contraception Methods: How To Decide
With so many birth control options available, choosing a most suitable form can be discouraging for many, especially women in the reproductive age group (15-45) majority who are young, but sexually active.
For the young people, it has been proven that in deciding which contraception is suitable, they need to visit youth friendly centres close to them. Many of the centres have young people manning them and understand the needs of the young persons.
The following are some questions that would be considered in deciding a suitable method of contraception:
Which method protects against STIs? What about convenience of use? How effective are they?
The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN) is a registered Non-Governmental, Non-partisan, Not-for-profit group of Nigerian journalists founded in 2010 to advocate for RHR issues and policies in Nigeria and globally.
VISION: To be advocates for REPRODUCTIVE Health & Rights
MISSION: To set agenda for the creation, promotion and enhancement of developmental health journalism
MOTTO: Together we can
- The aims of the Group shall be to propagate the passion and commitment of the Nigerian media to reproductive health and rights especially of all women and girls regardless of their natural abilities.
- The Group shall promote developmental health issues of Nigerian citizens, general wellbeing and allied issues of all Nigerians as entrenched in the Nigerian Constitution by Rights.
By the Act of Registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the NRHJN shall also:
- Create sensitization and awareness towards reproductive health and rights in Nigeria
- Promote the ratification and domestication in Nigeria of International Charters and Conventions on Reproductive Health Rights.
- Set Agenda for the Creation, Promotion and Enhancement of Developmental Health Journalism
- To advocate for Reproductive Health Rights Issues and Policies in Nigeria and Globally
The NRHJN has a 5-man Board of Trustees and membership of about 30 committed and passionate Journalists who have been trained on issues of Reproductive Health Advocacy, spread across the country and in various media outlets-Print, Broadcast Radio/Television and Online media.
The Group operates open and transparent Network and has partnership with other formidable and reliable groups with interest in Reproductive Health Agenda.
Since inception in 2010, NRHJN has been involved in various activities of interest especially on advocacy for the de-criminalisation of the Abortion Laws in the Nigerian Constitution; Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (which was recently enacted); Bring Back Our Girls Campaign; Campaign to End Endometriosis and Rights to Fertility Treatment; Advocacy for Availability of Family Planning Commodities to the last mile, End to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and other Harmful Traditional Practices; Access to Breast and Cervical Cancers Prevention, Care and Treatment among several other reproductive health issues that affect women and girls in Nigeria.
We are presently seeking partnerships to promote maternal and Child’s Health Rights as enacted in the New Nigeria’s Health Policy 2017.