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Nigeria’s fertility rate higher than other developing nations’

The minister who was speaking Thursday at the presentation of the baseline result on the family planning method conducted by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) in Abuja said “high fertility rate is associated with maternal mortality and faster population growth. Underlying this, we have cultural practices such as early marriage and role of women in society. Another area is access to reproductive health so that women can choose when to get pregnant and how to space their children over time. It’s high time we looked at the population policy for development and harness the information presented here for this purpose.”

Dr. Mojisola Odeku, Project Director of the Bill and Melinda Gates funded project, NURHI, explained that the activity looked at family planning among the urban poor. “In collaboration with the National Population Commission, a qualitative and quantitative baseline household survey was carried out on almost 15,000 people in Ibadan, Ilorin, Kaduna and Abuja. We sought their views, likes and what kind of care they seek   when going for family planning

“There were similarities between situations in Ibadan and Kaduna, but a recurring problem in all cities was spousal communication. Husbands expect their wives to initiate the conversation on family planning while wives wait to get approvals from their husbands before going for family planning.”

The findings further revealed the   needs for more to be done on public awareness as there is a silent demand for family planning methods and the demand that it be made one of the civic duties like birth registration.

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Dr. Bola Kusemiju, Deputy Director, NUHRI shed more light: “The research focused on issues which will encourage and discourage the use of family planning methods. Users were tracked to know if they will stop using the methods or keep at it.

“Another area covered was regarding facility which included service providers, their skills and trainings as well as source where users purchased them.”

The five year project has just concluded its first phase and provides basic facts through which stakeholders can access information on the matter.

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