I was invited to a two days training on Family Planning, organized by Development communications (DEVCOMS) Network in collaboration with Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI). Today, March 5th, happens to be the first day of this training and I am glad to have attended. The training for the day ended about an hour ago and I literally couldn’t wait to share excerpts of the training with you.
DEVCOMS are a media-development, capacity-building non-governmental organization coordinated by experienced development journalists, while NURHI II is a five-year project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the vision to eliminate supply and demand barriers to contraceptive use and make family planning a social norm in Nigeria.
DEVCOMS is collaborating with all arms of the media for improved maternal and child health, in order to reduce the high burden of maternal deaths in Nigeria. While NURHI II nurses a strong vision to see that the supply and demand barrier in Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) is eliminated.
While giving an overview on NURHI2, Prince Adewale Haarstrup, stated that making family planning a social norm and increasing National CPR to 27% and that of Lagos state to 74% is an important part of NURHI2 vision. Also stating that demand for family planning is a pre-requisite to increased contraceptive use.
In partnering with social media influencers and bloggers, NURHI and DEVCOMS primary outcome is to increase support by key stakeholders for family planning at the State and Local Government level, improving quality of family planning services and to see a significant increase in the demand for family planning.
Youth program officer, Bless Me Ajayi, emphasized on the need for introduction of Adolescent Reproduction Health (ARH). Parents, Guardians and key stakeholders can no longer shy away from having the much needed conversation with young adults between the ages of 15 – 24. In order to eliminate barriers to adolescent contraception, adolescents need to be aware and properly sensitized on the advantages and disadvantages of being sexually active and all safe options available to them.
To help eliminate one of the many misconceptions of family planning which assumes that you have to be married to be interested in family planning as the name implies, Ms. Ajayi noted that the program and sensitization for young adolescence falls under LIFE PLANNING.
Dr. Omotunde Odanye, Technical Officer, Post Pregnancy Family Planning Project (PPFP), mentioned the need for public and private sector health providers to tap into the untapped opportunity during and after pregnancy to counsel women about family planning.
“Post Pregnancy is the period of conception through the first year of outcome”
“WHO and other international organisation recommended at least 2years between pregnancies to reduce infant and child mortality and benefit maternal heath”
Tapping into this key strategy, ensures reaching a large group of women with cost effect intervention.
You and I, are however, needed to put out the correct information to generate demand as family planning is demand driven. By the end of tomorrow’s training, I hope to have gained more insights on family planning and to make a comprehensive post on most of the popular myths and misconceptions on contraceptives and family planning in general.