‘Poor male involvement in contraceptive use still a challenge’

Poor male involvement in family planning has been identified as a major issue in improving modern contraceptive use in Oyo State.

Mrs Adeola Awakan, Oyo State, Deputy, Family Planning Coordinator, stated this at the opening of a three-day training workshop supported by Advance Family Planning in USA to build capacity of Family Planning Advocacy Working group on family planning.

Awakan, who noted a slight increment in modern contraceptive use from 18 per cent in 2008 to 24.4 per cent in 2013, said many men still do not know the benefit of family planning.

She declared:  “Majority of men still do not believe in family planning and we still need to counsel them the more. Family planning reduces mortality by about 30 per cent and infant mortality by about 35 per cent.”

The state Deputy, Family Planning Coordinator also highlighted that poor funding, shortage of manpower, lack or inadequate consumables and instruments as well as myths and misconceptions as other challenges against increasing family planning in Oyo State

According to her, “without consumables, it is impossible to give family planning services. Also, some religious organisations also do not believe in modern family planning methods; they believe that it is a sin.”

Although there are opportunities to increase family planning services, such as the upcoming World Bank’s “Saving One Million Lives” programme, she decried many developmental partners on family planning concentrating their efforts in some local governments, leaving others underserved.

Awakan, noting that the need for family planning services is inexhaustible, assured of Oyo State’s commitment to contraceptives distribution through the Federal Government’s “last mile contraceptive” distribution model.

While advocating public-private-partnership in addressing the needs of family planning service, she added, “Government is doing everything within its limited resources to take leadership role.”

Earlier, Dr Habeeb Salami, Programme Manager, Family Planning and Reproductive Health for Pathfinder International, Abuja, said that the training was to further strengthen the advocacy capacity of different groups on family planning.

Salami said the advocacy groups were to support family planning units of the Ministry of Health as well as ensure the appropriation and timely release of funds for family planning services.

The expert said this was imperative, to ensure that Oyo State also contributes its quota to the attainment of the national family planning blueprint contraceptive prevalence rate of 36 per cent by year 2018.