From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
A survey conducted by the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 Nigeria (PMA2020), in Anambra State has shown that one of three child births in the state was unintended.
The PMA2020 survey is on the use of family planning methods by couples to space their children or prevent pregnancy.
Disclosing the result of the PAM2017/Anambra survey which data collection was conducted between April and May, 2017, the Principal Investigator for PMA2020, Dr. Elizabeth Omoluabi said the reason for such result was the lack of patronage by members of the public for family planning packages and kits at public health centres.
Omoluabi who spoke yesterday at a workshop of the group, for the dissemination of the result of the survey and presentation to the state government, expressed surprise that despite government’s efforts to make available the kits and personnel, the people have refused to access the facilities.
The Principal Investigator, therefore, advised couples to make good use of the availability of the family planning packages provided by the state government for free of charge to make life meaningful for themselves by not having unwanted babies or having more children than they can carter for.
She said, “Imagine walking along the road, and one out of every three children you meet on the way was given birth to by mistake of their parents. The tendency is that the children may not be well taken care of because the parents did not budget for him or her.
“Our 2017 survey in Anambra shows that unlike that of 2016, government has provided family planning pills, kits and professionals to offer advices to people, but the people are not patronizing these facilities.
“Our overall assessment is that the Anambra State government has done its bit of providing healthcare professionals, and also the pills and other kits that can help family planning, but the people don’t take advantage of this, and that is why they are giving birth to babies they do not want.”
Omoluabi told participants at the workshop that the finding of the group further showed that parents were relying more on withdrawal method of family planning, which according to her was not very safe, and stressed that to be overcome such; more awareness has to be created among families.
At the workshop the PMA2017/Anambra-R2 survey result was presented to the Governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike.