For improved quality of life for Nigerians, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has called for effective population management through family planning to reverse the country’s current high fertility rate and low modern contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR).
Director, Reproductive Health in the ministry, Dr Kayode Afolabi, made the call in Abuja, recently during an online media training for health reporters and features writers.
Afolabi further urged the media to create more awareness on family planning in order for Nigeria to achieve a better modern contraceptive prevalence rate by 2024 and population management.
He also listed barriers to access to family planning at the training which was in collaboration with the ministry and Rotary International, stressing the role of the media to reversing the trend.
According to him, the barriers for family planning uptake include, fertility-related barriers, methods related barrier (side effects), myths and misconceptions, religious and tradition and health system barriers (unskilled and unfriendly staff).
Afolabi said: “This is an opportunity to enable the media promote family planning services in the country.
“The media platform is easily accessible to spread key information and create awareness on the use of family planning,’’ he added.
The FMOH Director noted that the collaboration with relevant stakeholders will ensure the promotion of key message on the product at the grassroots by the media.
He said that the media, as watchdog of the society, would hold the people in power accountable because they were trusted sources of information.
The Director enjoined the media to always clarify any information to determine its authenticity.
He said that government had done a lot in the family planning campaign, with rebranding of the product services with the `Dot’ logo.
According to him, the best intervention is to create public awareness about the need for family planning, while encouraging couples to start and continue the practice after marriage.
Contributing, Mrs. Ladidi Bako-Aiyegbusi, Director and Head, Health Promotion Division, Family Health Department in the ministry, called on the media to always fact-check the websites to ensure that their stories were true.
Bako-Aiyegbusi said that the media must have sufficient information and evidence on any story they pushed out.
According to her, before publishing any story, the reporter should seek the views of experts so as to give the story credibility.
“People look up to the media. Therefore, they need to ensure that the context will elevate the audience’s emotion and make them show interest in the story,’’ she said.
Bako-Aiyegbusi advised the media to always use simple language that would be easily understood by the audience so as to increase the increased readability of stories published on the subject matter.