Dr Ben Emonene, Delta State Technical Support Lead for Family Planning (FP) has expressed fear that the government stay at home order to check corona virus spread, may trigger population growth in Nigeria.
The doctor stated this while fielding questions from newsmen on Thursday in Agbor, following the facility tour of Primary Health Care (PHCs) in Agbor and Owa -Oyibu in Ika South and Ika North East Local Government Areas of Delta by the Family Planning Team.
He said that there was a need for the government to make provision for family planning to ensure that the people have protected sex to ensure the country does not go into the challenge of population explosion and management of unplanned families while trying to check Covid- 19.
According to Emonene, there will be an increased bonding between the man and woman as they stay indoors.
“Ordinarily when you go to work and come back, there is that natural tiredness that sets in.
“That, on its own, is family planning because when you are too tired, to even set up to do something that is intimate, there will be no time for that.
“But now that you are at home full time you are so open to a lot of things to exploit and foremost among that is sexual relations.
“So, if this goes continuously unprotected, you will find out that in trying to curb this menace of Covid-19 pandemic, we will end up with population explosion.
“For this order to stay at home to be given, there should be a high support for family planning services, if not it will run counter to what we already achieved in the state which is to ensure that family lives are planned”.
He called on all to preach and advocate for FP services as an essential services to humanity to build a healthy family and nation, adding that if left unattended to would come down with its attendant challenges in the near future.
He said that funding for FP would never be enough while urging LGAs to key into the programme to support the state government in building healthy families through FP.
According to him, Delta Government has been doing quite well in supporting FP by increasing the funding budget for FP from N8 million in 2019 to N25m this year.
“We have acceptors in thousands and this runs across all the local government area except for few LGAs particularly in the riverine, who are running programme that are counter to FP agenda, they give award to women that have up to 10 children.
He noted that advocacy would play key role in transforming the mind set of the people as against being political to make them believe that if you born more children you have more voters.
“Whereas these children are not cared for, they end up becoming thugs and disturbs the society, I think advocacy should be paid to these persons and to help them see the need for family planning.
Mrs Loveth Durojaye, FP Health Provider, Alihema, PHC, Agbor, Ika South LGA, said the facility provided services based on demand, adding that the compliance was high.
“We are youths friendly, for prevention is better than abortion and to save their lives, we allow them to do family planning.
“We educate them and we often encourage their husbands to come with them and on the faith based organisations, we advice them adequately.
“On the stay at home order by government to check the spread of corona virus, we do not want unwanted pregnancies, so, we encourage people to take to family planning,” she said.
On her part, Mrs Rose Ugwu, FP Health Provider, Owa – Oyibu PHC, Ika North East LGA also expressed worries that the stay at home may trigger the population, adding that it would pay couples to adopt family planning to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
She noted that the facility like others in the state, offer free services to the acceptors of family planning.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to newsmen on the benefits, called on other young mothers to adopt FP to stay alive and have planned families.
Mrs Helen Ilobi, 31 years, mother of four and Mrs Loveth Isioma, 27, mother of three said that they had approval of their husbands to key into family planning.
They said that the programme had encouraged them to become free from worries about becoming pregnant particularly when they still nurse their babies as well as enable them plan for the next baby.
According to Ilobi, the four children is enough, and with the adoption of this family planning programme, I can cope and control any unwanted pregnancy”
Written by Ifeanyi Olannye