By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
The Development Communications Network (DEVCOMS) on Wednesday alerted that Nigeria’s population continues to increase rapidly with no commensurate development in health care service delivery.
DEVCOMS Programme Officer, Mrs Omobonike Adebayo raised the alarm in Ibadan while speaking at the inauguration of a media forum for the dissemination of information between the the Development Communications (DEVCOMS) Network in collaboration with Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) and the family planning service users.
According to the DEVCOMS Programme Officer, with the situation, there is the urgent need to increase the level of awareness of family planning and other related issues.
“With a current estimated population of 186 million and an annual growth rate of about 2.5%, Nigeria’s huge population, fueled by high birth rate without good family planning, can be a huge burden with resultant poor health indices such as high maternal and infant deaths.” She said.
Emphasizing that ” Nigeria’s maternal and child mortality is one of the highest in the world”, she stressed that the forum which had already been launched in both Lagos and Kaduna states was established in recognition of the critical role of the media.” saying, ” this is in recognition of the critical role the media play in agenda setting on matters of national interest”.
Oyo state Team leader of NURHI, Mrs. Stella Akinso in her remark, lauded journalists in Oyo state for their prompt and adequate reportage of family planning and other related issues and that there is the need for more supports from media practitioners in the state said she was grateful that she has been enjoying a good working relationship with the media in the state, saying, “one of the things is that, we have been enjoying and working closely with media people in the state”.
Mr Sola Adeyemo from the New Telegraph is the Chairman of the Media Forum while other
executive members of the forum include Rolake Bello of Splash FM Ibadan (Vice Chairman) Adebisi Adetunji of Radio Nigeria (Secretary), Raji Adebayo of Herald Newspaper (Assistant Secretary), Sade Oguntola of Nigerian Tribune (Treasurer) and Toyin Salau of 32 FM Ibadan (Financial Secretary).
In his paper titled “Family planning budget allocation and timely release- The great imperative”, The Medical Officer of Health, Akinyele Local Government Area and immediate past Chairman Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Oyo state chapter, Dr. Muideen Olatunji said family planning has become a veritable tool in reducing maternal and child mortality hence the need
for effective budget monitoring and budget tracking to ensure that money budgeted for family planning is tailored for what it was meant to do. He solicited for support and cooperation of all and sundry to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate in the country.