Chairman, Advocacy Network for Mutual Development and Progress (AN4MDP), Alhaji Salahuddeen Busairi has expressed concern on Oyo State’s declining modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) and called for increased involvement of religious and community leaders in advocacy for family planning services.
Speaking at the quarterly meeting of AN4MDP, a family planning advocacy group Alhaji Busari said religious and community leaders must remain at the forefront of the campaign to increase acceptance and awareness on the benefits of family planning in the community.
According to him, “some partners are less concerned about religious and community leaders’ involvement in the campaign for family planning; This is a mistake.”
Alhaji Busairi also stressed the need for the state and local governments to retain the services of family planning mobilisers at the community as activities of the state’s family planning partners such as NURHI round off.
He said the group would not relent on its advocacy activities for family planning campaign until all Nigerians stop thinking of family planning as something strange but rather a norm.
Oyo State family planning coordinator, Mrs Adeola Awakan, expressed concern on the low uptake of family planning services in some rural communities of Oyo State and urged AN4MDP to help tackle the problem through advocacy.
According to her, awareness and uptake of family planning services is still more in cities, leaving out the suburbs.
“Recently, during supervision in a community in a rural local government not far from Ibadan, we met people that do not believe in family planning or are ready to use family planning although we have a trained family planning provider on ground to render services.”
Mrs Awakan stated that tackling the low awareness and uptake of family planning in communities at the rural areas is key to the attainment of the state’s target for modern contraceptive prevalence rate.
“Any survey in the state to access our modern contraceptive prevalence rate will also take into consideration our health facility report and community report on family planning, so increasing advocacy, especially at the rural areas to engender more support for strategic is important,” she declared.
Religious and community leaders at the meeting agreed there is was the need for appropriate words to communicate family planning messages that are culturally and religiously sensitive.