The Bauchi State Government has urged stakeholders and media to create more awareness on the accessibility and utilisation of Family Planning (FP) services in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Zuwaira Ibrahim, gave the task at the Marie Stopes International inception meeting of Women Integrated Services for Health (WISH) project in Bauchi on Thursday.
Ibrahim underscored the need for stakeholders to create more awareness about FP among the populace through health education, advocacy, meetings and preaching.
“I call on stakeholders, religious and traditional leaders, development partners, health workers, community leaders, activists to create more awareness on the utilisation and accessibility of FP in the state. The media also have to play more prominent role in enlightening the populace about FP,” she said.
According to her, the low level of education had significantly affected the awareness about FP.
“The knowledge of FP does more than enable women and men to control their family size as is popularly held. It guarantees citizens’ health and rights; improves families quality of life and by implication the larger society. The saying that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation will remain a truism for a very long time to come,” she said.
Ibrahim explained that FP was an important strategy in promoting maternal and child health, adding that it improves health through adequate spacing of births and avoiding pregnancy at high risk maternal ages and parities.
Mr Emmanuel Ajah, the Director Operations, Marie Stopes International, explained that the objective of the project was to increase capacity of public and private sector service providers to provide integrated reproductive health services.
“To engage with communities and individuals to increase knowledge and community support for families to make informed reproductive health choices. To also contribute to global knowledge by sharing evidence based innovations and practices to increase women’s choice and access to sexual reproductive health,”he said.
Ajah however called on the state government to provide commodities required for child spacing services during intervention activities.
He also stressed the need for the state government to address the issue of staff attrition within the project duration, and ensuring timely release and full commitment to project.
FP implies the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children by spacing and timing their births.
It is achieved through the use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility.
The availability of FP services safeguards individual health and rights, and improves the quality of life of couples and their children.