World Contraception Day; Health Stakeholders Harps On Increased Advocacy On family Planning

By Celestine Okeh, Abakaliki

Increased advocacy and awareness of family planning has been identified as some of the ways of improving maternal and child health and healthy family.

This was the submission of stakeholders in the health sector at the events to mark the 2023 world Contraception Day in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital on Tuesday.

Addressing journalist after the road walk round the state capital, Commissioner for Health, Dr Moses Ekuma  said that the state has demonstrated  high level of commitment to improving maternal and child health in the state, stressing that the world Contraception Day stands as a for global campaign for better Education for safe and protective sex so that no pregnancy is unplanned and unwanted.

The Commissioner's address reads in part;
"Today Ebonyi State joins the rest of the world to commemorate world contraception day. The state have consistently celebrated this annual event to demonstrate her commitment to improving maternal and child health and building healthy families.

"Background information on the celebration of World Contraception Day (WCD) takes place on September 26th every year. The annual worldwide campaign centers around a vision where every pregnancy is wanted. This campaign aims to raise awareness about family planning methods available to a woman and her partner to enable them to make an informed decision regarding their reproductive health. This global campaign pushes for better education related to safe and protected sex so that no pregnancy is unplanned or unwanted.
World Contraception Day was first observed on 26th September in 2007 by ten international family planning
organizations to raise awareness about contraception and to enable couples to make an informed decision regarding when to get pregnant and the family size, so that every pregnancy is wanted. The World Contraception Day promotes family planning and contraceptive methods that are safe and preferred. 

"World Contraception Day is supported by a coalition of 15 international NGOs, governmental organizations, and scientific and medical societies with an interest of spreading the right knowledge about sexual and reproductive health.
Rational for celebration/use of Contraception.

"The significance for promotion of contraceptives use cannot be over-emphasized. Use of contraception can prevent an untimely and unwanted pregnancy and helps in family planning. Being informed about family planning and having access to various family planning methods can help a woman (and couples) decide when they want to have children and the number of children. A couple can choose when they want to begin having children, birth spacing and when they should stop.

"Maintaining an ideal gap between two or more pregnancies can help them prepare financially for their children's Educational and other needs. Young girls and women who are not ready for pregnancy, both mentally and until their bodies are prepared for the same. 

"Contraceptives can also help older women protect pregnancy,
especially if they are bound to experience pregnancy-related risks or complications, thus reducing the need for individual's choice, having more children can increase the population". 

The Commissioner emphasized further that the theme for this year's world Contraception Day 'Power of options' is not only about contraception, but also about fostering autonomy, enabling informed choices, and advancing global efforts toward Reproductive Health and Family Planning.

He stated further, "In line with the theme,Ebonyi State ministry of Health have prioritized activities that promote awareness on
Family Planning/Reproductive Health,increase capacity and access to method mix, ensure commodity availability and FP methods uptake. 
To this end, the Ministry with support from partners such as UNFPA,Breakthrough
action Nigeria (BA-N), Integrated Health Programme (IHP),MSI Nigeria Reproductive Choices, AMURT and
WOCHAD is implementing the following activities to mark the celebration: Outreaches in communities in 13 LGAs using nearest facilities to provide FP services which is ongoing and facilities in Ohaozara, Ivo, Ikwo, Ebonyi among others have been reached. Training of 160 family planning Providers on DMPA-Sc which was conducted on 22nd September at Council halls of Abakaliki, Afikpo,Ohaukwu and Ohaozara LGAS.
3 Day on the job cascade training on Hormonal Intrauterine Device (H-IUD)which was conducted between 12'h-14th and 17'h-19thh September 2023 at Anson Hotel and Suite,Abakaliki".

There was Road walk and awareness raising on family planning in Abakaliki metropolis. 
High point of the event were public lecture on family planning delivered by the state coordinator of family planning, Mrs Maria Orji Uduma and
 the aInauguration of Family Planning Advocacy Technical Working Group by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr Moses Ekuma, represented by the Director, Public health, Dr Hycient Ebenyi.

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