Husbands and wives should look inward and consider their contributions to the speedily growing population
On July 11, Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark World Population Day and HealthNewsNG’s Dr. Vickie was a guest on a radio station in Ibadan to educate and enlighten the general populace on the theme – family planning, child spacing, empowering people, developing nation.
Another guest on the show, Sheu Busari, is one of the popularly known Islamic coordinators and family planning advocate, while the program was anchored by Opeyemi Ojabanjo and Olutayo Ogunade of Impact Business Radio.
According to Dr. Vickie, World Population Day which was established by the United Nations in 1989 to raise awareness on global population issues and for every country, including Nigeria, to pay more attention on the need to harness their populations productively to achieve demographic dividends, economic growth and sustainable development.
According to her, population control is an individual family decision, not something that the government or the society can make for the general populace. Husbands and wives should look inward and consider their contribution to the speedily growing population. They should decide how many children they can responsibly cater for and decide to embrace family planning to make their sexual life a fear-free and enjoyable one.
“There’s need to start shifting focus to male education,” Dr Vickie continued.
This is because if male children in the society learn and know how to manage their sexuality, care for women well being and become unwanted pregnancy conscious, it will not only go a long way to help reduce maternal mortality, but also population as a whole.
She emphasized the need to take family planning advocacy to the slums and rural areas.
“This is because, according to UNFPA, around the world, some 225 million women, including Nigerian women, who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe and effective family planning methods for various reasons. The reasons range from lack of access to information or services to lack of support from their partners or communities, and most of these women, with fertility rate of about 6 with many of them desiring more children, having an unmet demand for contraceptives, live in both urban slums and rural areas.
“Therefore, government and NGOs should not be weary until these groups have the needed information and access to contraceptives, knowing that investments in making family planning available will also yields economic and other gains that can propel development forward.”
Busari on the other hand added that the withdrawal method of family planning was mentioned in the Holy Quran. He said it will not be necessary if the husband and his wife agrees on a trustworthy method of family planning to avoid agitations and fear during sexual intercourse.
“We need to counsel the youths that being sexually active does not equate to marriage. Therefore, youth should not bring forth children they are not yet capable of caring for,” Busari.
He enjoined religious leaders to include family planning in their teachings as it was included in the Holy Quran and help debunk all the religious myths about contraceptives.
“Menstruation is not a yardstick for maturity, in caring for the mothers, wives and sisters in the community, preventing unwanted pregnancy and its associated risks is crucial.”