Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Women stand for family planning to unsafe abortion in Ibadan

Research has shown that, family planning helps in reducing the need for unsafe abortion as well as the rate of unintended pregnancies.




According to World Health Organization, family planning enables women who wish to limit the size of their families to do so as evidence suggests that, women who have more than four children are at increased risk of maternal mortality. 

Recently, during a field trip organised by Network of Reproductive Health Journalists in Nigeria, NRHJN, with support from Marie Stopes International In Nigeria, MSION, shows that women in Ibadan now prefers contraception to abortion.

The visit to the Elebu Primary Health Centre, PHC, in Ido Local Government Area of Ibadan, Oyo State, during an interview with journalists, 28 year old Odemuyiwa Abidemi who came for medical check-up and follow up at Elebu PHC revealed that her preferred choice is the injectable.

She spoke of her experience on why she chose to space her births with an effective contraceptive method rather than engage in unsafe abortion.

Abidemi said, "already I have three children, first one is nine years and the last is four years old. I want to give my children time to grow better and for me to also have rest. I understand that planning one’s family include spacing their births because this allows one to enjoy good health so I chose the three monthly injectable contraceptive last September and I am here today, to check my blood pressure and know if everything is okay with me."

Another family planning user, Mrs Florence Oloye, a 46 years old trader who became a convert to modern contraceptive method after six abortions said, "between my oldest daughter who is 26 and the next who is 20, I had six abortions because each time my husband and I had sex, I got pregnant and abortion was the only way I knew to prevent not having an unwanted baby.

"I did not know about any other way to avoid pregnancy and even after my second child I continued to abort but the last one was very complex because I bled and had infection and my husband was afraid that I could die if I continued to abort.

"So, two year ago, I was in the bathroom when I heard some outreach people passing by our house and giving information on family planning, I quickly went after them to collect their flier and then, came to Segun Adeniji where I was counseled and put on five year long lasting plan."

Oloye however said in an interview with journalists that it was her encounter with healthcare providers from Segun Adeniji Memorial Health Clinic and Maternity Home, Apata, during an outreach programme that saved her life from another unsafe abortion.

While speaking with Oloye, she said, "I am at the facility for a follow-up and medical check to know how I am faring after two years into using the five years Implant. From my experience of the contraceptive method, it has been good. I will introduce my 26 year old daughter to take up any contraception because, I want her to avoid contracting sexually transmitted disease and prevent pregnancy since she is not yet married."

With her experience with the use of contraception, Oloye however, volunteered to be part of community mobilisers referring women in the market where she sales and community to Segun Adeniji Memorial Hospital for uptake of family planning services.

Going through the medical records of both health facility, it was discovered that, quite a number of women who attend the centres are taking up contraceptives than opting for unsafe abortion with quacks.

For instance, at Segun Adeniji Memorial Hospital, the data for services showed in August, there were 38 new clients for contraceptive uptake and seven existing clients who visited for follow up; and in the month of September the clientele rose to 55 new uptake and five existing who switched from short term to long term contraceptive method.

According to Mrs. Bosede Adeniji, Chief Family Planning Provider at Segun Adeniji Memorial Hospital, Kuola, Apata,  "of all the services offered at Segun Adeniji Memorial Hospital, Family Planning services is the major one offered because the community, Kuola is a highly populated area with women and young girls who without doubt really need to plan their families "

While at the Elebu PHC, data also shows that between May and October 2019, the total number of women who opted for various contraceptives rose as follows: 34 in May, 23 in June, 19 in July, 52 in August, 20 in September and 40 in October.

The Chief Matron at the Elebu PHC, Mrs. Olawunmi Akano pointed that, "there are community mobilisers who are responsible for outreaches to encourage women in the communities around us to come out for contraceptives especially during the infant immunisation clinics."

Akano added that, "when the women come for infant immunisations, we seize the opportunity to talk to them about family planning and different contraceptives that are available for their uptake."

The available family planning method we have, the Chief Matron said are: the Intrauterine Device, IUCD, Implanon, Jadelle, Noristerant, and Depo as well as Cyana press, pills and condoms but most of our clients prefer injectibles which we have always had in the clinic before the implanon was introduced.

She however said they do encourage to women who visit to take on the long lasting contraceptive methods.

On his part, the director of programme operation, MSION, Mr Emmanuel Ajah, during the workshop said that the mission of the organisation was to ensure that "children are born by choice, not by chance" through advocacy to adopt family planning methods.

According to him, reports indicate that 451 women and girls out of every 100,000 die from pregnancy related causes, while unsafe abortion contributes to over 30 percent of maternal deaths resulting to an unacceptably high Maternal Mortality Ratio, MMR in Nigeria.









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