More couples applied family planning during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown- expert
By Nosa Akenzua
Mrs Patience Abudu, a Family Planning expert has said that the number of clients for family planning programme in Asaba, increased during Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown. Abudu, who works with the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Asaba, Delta, disclosed this during a round table discourse with Journalists on Monday
Speaking on the theme: “The Role of Women in Family Planning at the Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic”, Abudu noted the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown was a tough period for many married couples and that forced them to toe the precaution line to avoid unwanted pregnancies and to ensure financial discipline.
“In April 2020, we recorded about 150 clients but following the lockdown and the intimacy associated with it, many families called to take up FP, so, we recorded programme uptake of 187 in May, it dropped to 177 in June, but rose to 192 in July at the FMC, Asaba facility alone,” she said.
According to her, women are the home managers and must drive the process of family planning in the home. “Family planning ensures discipline and proper child spacing in the family to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Many families have become aware, sought and taken up family planning at the FMC Asaba facility before now. But at the advent of COVID-19 Pandemic and the associated economic challenges, the acceptors of family planning increased at the facility.
She noted that the modern family planning methods had provided a succor for every family to plan and ensure proper child spacing and healthy living by adopting perfect methods that works for the family.
According to Abudu, the urban residents are already sensitised on the need to plan their families to live a happy and healthy life. “The challenge is on how to take the advocacy to the rural communities to educate the people, particularly the women, to enable them do the needful to help themselves”.
In a similar vein, Mrs Patience Eke, a Family Planning expert with the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said adopting family planning helps families to live happily and healthy. “Practice of controlling the number of children one has using any modern family method, is not a limitation, but enables couples produce the numbers of children they can adequately cater for.
“A woman has a lot of roles to play in family planning as the one who bears the burden of childbearing and the manager of the family. She needs to stay alive during and after childbearing to manage the home.
“Yes, some men initiate the need to take up the scheme but without the women, it will not be successful. I believe women had to initiate it and ensure they carry their husbands along and if the man agrees, they should seek genuine family planning centres to avoid falling into the hands of quacks.
“Every drug has side effects just like any method of family planning, but no side effect of family planning is deadly, so, the uptaker must have the determination to sustain the programme despite the side effects, “she said.
Eke said further that people react to the scheme differently depending on their body make-up, it does not make women childless nor infertile. “We take the participants through extensive teaching on family planning methods to allow the person to make a choice. Any side effects must be reported to the operators for solutions, “she adds.