The National Population Commission, NPC, has appealed to stakeholders in family planning and reproductive healthcare to bridge the gap between the knowledge of contraceptive and its usage.
The commission’s Chairman, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), made the call in an interview on Thursday in Abuja.
He described family planning as a powerful tool to combat poverty and reduction of maternal mortality rate.
Analysing the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, NDHS, conducted by the commission, Mr. Duruiheoma noted that there was invaluable indicators on the health and living standard of the people.
The chairman, however, said that conducting a comprehensive advocacy on reproductive healthcare would help in availing the country with qualitative population that would contribute meaningfully to national development.
“2013 NDHS provides detail information on the levels and trends of fertility, family planning, maternal and child health and sexually transmitted infections, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, STD/HIV/AIDS, in the country,” he said. “It also gathered information on the measurement of the level of contraceptive knowledge and practice at the national and among the urban and rural population in the six geopolitical zones.
“Key findings indicate that knowledge of contraceptive is under spread. 80 per cent of women and 95 per cent of men reported of having knowledge about a contraceptive method.
“However, wide gap exist between knowledge and use with only 15 per cent of currently married women using a contraceptive method.
“This is an increase of only two per cent from 2003 and almost same with 2008 NDHS. 10 per cent of this group report using a modern method of contraceptive while unmet need of family planning among married women is currently 16 per cent.”
Mr. Duruiheoma assured Nigerians of the commission’s commitment to ensuring provision of accurate data on family planning, adding that it would also assist in bridging gap.
He described accurate data as central to the management of issues to improve the quality of life of the populace.
Family planning is a voluntary step taken by individuals to prevent, delay or achieve a pregnancy.
It also allow couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children, spacing and time of their birth.