Mrs. Kelly Mbakwem, the Focal Person, Expanded Social Marketing Project in Nigeria (ESPIN), has identified ignorance, tradition and poverty as factors contributing to the poor acceptance of family planning methods by couples.
ESPIN is a unit of Society for Family Health (SFH), an NGO.
Mbakwem said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Owerri on Tuesday that family planning was necessary for married and unmarried women to save their lives.
She said many people shied away from family planning because of ignorance and the erroneous belief that it would lead to infertility.
She said that religious belief was another hindrance to family planning as many believed that it was an act of disobedience to the creator who asked mankind to go and multiply the earth.
Mbakwem also named poverty and the lack of awareness creation on the importance of family planning by government and medical personnel as another militating factor and called for a change of attitude.
“People think that family planning is stopping their fertility. Some men also think it is an opportunity for their partners to flirt around. Another factor is poverty. Most people think that family planning is so expensive but it is not true,” she said.
She advised couples and single ladies to go to any family planning unit near them to choose a safe method that would be good for them.
Mbakwem, who is the Health Communicator of SFH, identified some of the advantages of family planning as proper child spacing, long life for women and peace of mind for the man to plan well.
She said that proper family planning helped to check mortality rate, curb abortion and enable children to grow well to become responsible persons in the society.
“With family planning, high mortality rate will be reduced in Nigeria. A woman is supposed to give herself time before embarking on another pregnancy, while a young girl can stay with her boyfriend without fear of pregnancy,” she said.
Mbakwem said SFH helped 676 families to adequately plan their families and also trained 23 service givers last year. She called on government at all levels to train more service providers and provide more drugs.