In commemoration of the 2019 World Contraception Day (WCD), an international organisation has called for contraceptives to be made available to all women of reproductive age.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the Country Director of Marie Stopes International Organisation Nigeria (MSION), Effiom Effiom, it said this will be a win-win situation for every nation.
MSION is a global organisation providing contraception services.
World Contraception Day was launched in 2007 to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
WCD is celebrated globally every September 26. This year’s celebration is themed: “It’s your life, it’s your responsibility.” The goal is to ensure that no woman of reproductive age is left out in securing her powers to make informed decisions about sexual health.
According to the statement, there are still 214 million women across the globe with an unmet need for contraception demands.
MSION said the number of women who want contraception but cannot access It has fallen from 225 million to 214 million.
It also said that not only is the progress slow but there is the possibility that it might take a dive into reverse.
“Marie Stopes International estimates that as many as 1.4 million women may lose access to family planning services as a result. And things will only get worse,” the statement said.
It said the total fertility rate (TFR) in Nigeria only decreased marginally from 5.5 in 2013 to 5.3 In 2018.
The organisation added that modern contraceptive prevalent rate (mCPR) is still very low in Nigeria, increasing marginally from 10 per cent in 2013 to 12 per cent in 2018.
“A woman’s freedom to choose her own future through family planning has benefits that extend far beyond her own home.
“Improving access to contraception would result in millions of more girls completing education, entering the workforce and having the power to make decisions about their own lives and futures.
“At our Marie Stopes clinics, no woman is denied access to her modern family planning method of chance on the basis of her inability to pay.
“We also believe strongly that ‘everybody wins when women and girls can access contraception safely and easily,”.
The organisation called on relevant government agencies to ensure that family planning is made available to every woman who wants it.
Also speaking on the issue, the Programme Director, Development Communications (DevComs) Network, Akin Jimoh, said the majority of young people in Nigeria are not empowered with quality information to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
In a series of tweets, Mr Jimoh said there is an urgent need to improve awareness of the importance of abstinence as well as contraception to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
The Youth Program Officer, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI 2), Ajani Oluwatobi, urged stakeholders to come together to create a supportive environment for young people to access information and services on reproductive health.