Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Expert tasks women post-pregnancy family planning

To avoid unplanned pregnancies within the first 12 months following delivery or miscarriage inclusive of any pregnancy that does not result in a live birth, expert has urged women to take up Post Pregnancy Family Planning, PPFP.

At a media round table in Lagos organised by Development Communications with support from Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, NURHI 2, the Technical Lead, Johns Hopkins Centre for Communication Program, JHUCCP, Dr. Taiwo Johnson, said though the World Health Organisation, WHO, recommends two years.

She said, "WHO Technical Consultation and Scientific Review of Birth Spacing recommend an interval of at least 24 months after a live birth before attempting the next pregnancy but we still find women pregnant under one year following delivery."

She said the PPFP is targeted at reaching women and couples with family planning messages around and after the time of birth, adding that this will save lives by promoting healthy spacing of pregnancies.

She said part of the objectives of PPFP is to limit unintended pregnancies for those who have completed their family and also to increase post pregnancy women access to family planning services.

Dr Johnson said PPFP is a four year project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck for Mothers with a goal to increase modern contraceptive use among post- pregnancy women in Lagos State.

Lending his voice, the Senior Programme Officer for NURHI 2, Mr. Wale Haastrup said the private sector has a lot to do with ensuring that family planning get to every nook and cranny especially in Lagos State, adding that there is need to talk about the dynamics with regards to the involvement of the private sector.

He said, "Lagos State has made a huge decision and they have decided to review that decision while ensuring that by 2020 they have 74 percent of Contraceptive Prevalence Rate and for the State to achieve this, there should be full private sector involvement."

Also giving his view, Barrister Ayo Adebusoye, chairman, Public Health Sustainable Advocacy, PHSAI, said that the Local Government Priority Health Scheme is key for local government coordination of health policies.

He stated that, "we are talking about demand creation, policy formulation, and these are part of the structures that should be in place to drive the Local Government Priority Health Scheme."

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