Experts working in the field of research and the health sector have called on government at all levels and other stakeholders to increase investments and innovations in family planning service delivery in the country.
They made the call on Friday during the side event organized by the Development Research and Project Centre (dRPC) at the fifth family planning conference in Abuja.
Director of Research at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru , Plateau State, Prof Habu Galadima , said there was need to adopt new techniques and innovations that would intensify family planning practices.
He said that family planning remained very low in the country , adding that if nothing was done about the size of families in Nigeria , the country would go into serious problems by the year 2025.
“It is important that we take this issue seriously and begin to address it . We need to get more actors and champions involved in the discussion on promoting family planning across the country,” he said.
Prof Galadima said the institute has been partnering with dRPC to promote health advocacy particularly in the area of reproductive and family health over the years.
Speaking during a panel discussion on expanded family planning service delivery, Chief Mrs Moji Makanjuola, a veteran journalist and founder of the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) said family planning should not be seen as a taboo, but a critical tool for economic and social development.
She said there was need for religious leaders to prioritise conversations about family planning and close the contraception gap.
“Faith based organisations are already taking a leading role in the promotion of family planning across the world and Nigeria should not be left behind. We need possible innovative approaches to family planning so that we can get evidence based approach to population management, “ she added.
Permanent secretary, Kano State Ministry of Health, Usman Bala Muhammad called for concerted efforts in sensitizing women and men on the reality and needs for family planning in the country.
He said one of the approaches adopted in Kano, is the utilization of traditional birth attendants.
He added that there was need for more innovation in areas that have been often neglected, saying the health of women depended largely on active public planning, and giving them space and necessary things required for healthy living.
“Kano is the most populous state in the country and we found it difficult to generate and create awareness in the state . The state inaugurated an all-inclusive committee, comprising traditional institutions, traditional leaders, health practitioners and other key stakeholders so that everybody is galvanised in trying to conscientise the public to break the jinx that family planning is a taboo, because that was the conception before. But now, the up take is very high as a result of the committee”, he said.