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Only 18% of couples use contraceptives

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By Abiodun Okunloye

People who are not in a union use more contraceptives than those in union.

According to a report by BudgIT, an organisation that focuses on civic technology, only 18 percent of couples in Nigeria make use of modern contraceptives in order to space out their children. This was revealed in the 2023 edition of the annual ‘State of States Report’ that BudgIT released on Tuesday in Abuja. In the report titled “Subnational Healthcare Delivery for Improved Economic Development,” the fiscal performance of each of the country’s 36 states was analysed, and the report highlighted the current state of healthcare delivery for the purpose of boosting economic growth.

However, the report found that among those who are not in a union, 32.5 percent use modern contraceptives to limit or space births, compared to just 18 percent of married or partner couples. According to the information presented, the prevalence of contraceptive use among married couples varies greatly across the country, from 9% in the north-east to 29.8% in the south-west. It is concerning that a sizeable percentage of sexually active people do not use any form of contraception. From the report, this varies from 64.6% in the south-west to 90.2% in the north-east.

General public must be educated on the utilisation of contraceptives.

It also indicates that more efforts should be made to educate the general public about the utilisation of contraceptives, along with the benefits of doing so for family planning and limiting the number of unintended pregnancies. According to the report, in terms of mortality rates for children under the age of five, the south-west region documented the lowest figures with only 48 deaths for every 1,000 live births, whereas the north-west got the most fatal regional record with 158 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

More findings from the survey showed that both Lagos and Osun have met the Sustainable Development Goal target of ensuring that there are not more than 25 deaths for every 1,000 live births. Ebonyi, which is located in the south-east region, was also successful in meeting the target for children under the age of 5. Before the deadline of 2030, additional states have to step up their efforts to lower the mortality rate among children under the age of five in their regions.

Nigeria has not been doing well in its health commitment.

Olumide Okunola, a health specialist with the World Bank, delivered a keynote address at the occasion and stated that Nigeria is obviously not doing well regarding health spending. According to him, the suboptimal service delivery in health reduces the outcomes of development and undermines the social contract that exists between the state and its citizens. Because of insufficient revenue generation, they are falling behind as a nation with regard to demographic planning, which hinders the capacity of the nation to accomplish positive health outcomes.

There is a pressing need to strengthen the connections between the funds that have been allotted and the outcomes or accomplishments that have been attained as a direct result. They must consider healthcare from a universal standpoint, and if they took the time to do so, they would realise that the number of individuals who are living in poverty and who are at risk is increasing on a daily basis as a result of factors such as inflation, COVID-19 and global instability.

Teenage pregnancies pose serious health, emotional, and mental risks.

Moreover, it was found that the average fertility rate among childbearing women aged 15–49 was highest in the north-west with 6 births per woman and lowest in the south-east as well as south-south with 4 births per woman. The teen birth rate maintained the same pattern, with the lowest reported figures in the south-east and the highest occurrence in the north-west. Similarly, teenage pregnancies pose serious health, emotional, and mental health risks and complications, making it imperative that the country takes action to reduce this problem.

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BudgiT: Website

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