World Contraception Day: The role of contraceptives in family planning
Whether a married woman with four children, an unmarried youth or an adolescent, access to contraceptives should be easy and without judgement. The Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS 2018) report states that 35% of adolescent females &10% of adolescent males, and 86% of female youths & 47% of male youths are sexually active.
However, there are still inadequate Youth Friendly Family Planning (FP) services to cater to this growing population of young people. The proportion who uses contraceptives relies on available methods over the counter (condoms and Emergency Contraceptive Pills ECP’s) or other traditional means for preventing pregnancy (concoctions).
Additionally, the unavailability of a policy that expressly gives young people unrestricted access to FP services without parental consent or providers’ discretion limits young people’s confidence in visiting the available centres due to fear of providers bias. Based on feedback received from beneficiaries on the Youth Amplify project across the five implementation states (Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti), lack of information on contraceptives to make informed choices, socio-cultural beliefs and provider’s attitudes remain a significant challenge to acceptability and use of contraception amongst young people.
Evidence has shown that contraception presents excellent opportunities and benefits for Nations and their economies by preventing pregnancy-related health risks, reducing infant mortality, preventing HIV/AIDS, empowering people, enhancing education, reducing adolescent pregnancies, and slowing population growth. Since 2017, every 26th September has been set aside to commemorate World Contraception Day to raise public awareness on contraception and enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
This year’s event, which is themed My life, My responsibility, re-enforces the right of every female to decide when and the number of children to bear.
HAPPY WORLD CONTRACEPTION DAY