High birth rate sans family planning, major threat to Nigeria – DevComs/NURHI

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
The Development Communications (DevComs) Network and the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) have alerted that the high birth rate without good family planning is now a major threat to Nigeria.
DevComs and NURHI raised the alarm in a report of its survey  presented by DevComs Programme Officer, Abiodun Owo after a two-day training on Family Planning /Child Spacing tagged “Effective Family Planning Coverage in Nigeria” for journalists especially On Air Personalities in Ibadan,
According to the groups “Nigeria’s population continues to increase rapidly with no commensurate development in health care service delivery”.
“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 indicies such as high maternal and infant deaths.Nigeria’s maternal and child deaths is one of the highest in the world”it said.
They pointed out that the time has come for Oyo state and other states in the country to “employ more doctors, nurses and midwives and other medical and health personnels in view of improving the health care delivery especially for women and children to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the country putting Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) at – 576/100,000 (10th highest in the world)”.
The groups while given the Reproductive Health Indices as High MMR – 576/100,000 (10th highest in the world), High fertility – 5.5, Low coverage of health services (ANC – 61%; delivery with skilled attendant – 38%), Low mCPR -10%; high unmet need 16%,it added that “only 15% of Nigerian married women use a contraceptive method, 10% of currently married women report using a modern method”.
DevComs and NURHI in the report stressed that the training was an eye opener for journalists to be equipped with necessary skills to wake up and discharge their responsibilities in relations to health of women, children and less privileged in the country.
“The Training is put together to strengthen the capacity of presenters and producers on Maternal and Child Health issues with reference to Family Planning.
On Oyo State, DevComs and NURHI hinted that only 22 medical doctors are presently serving in the primary health care facilities across the 33 local government areas of the state.
It stressed that the report showed that 22 local government areas in the state has a medical doctor each, while 11 local government areas especially those in the rural areas such as Ona-Ara and Kajola does not have doctors in their respective primary health care centres.
DevComs and NURHI noted that while all the council areas has more than one primary heath care facilities,it revealed that only local governments in urban and semi-urban areas such as Ibadan North, Ibadan South-West and Akinyele has a doctor each.

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