Mr Innocent Ujah, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Lagos, on Tuesday advocated permissible family planning for sexually active women. Ujah, also an obstetrician and gynaecologist, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone in Abuja that contraception was highly needed by women who were not yet in need of having babies. He said that marriage or having a baby should not be a measure for any woman to access family planning or contraception, adding that it was primarily for the prevention of unwanted pregnancy. “It is important that young girls and women who are not prepared to have a baby should go for contraception/family planning. “When we say family planning, you must not have a baby or be married before you can do family planning because family planning is to prevent pregnancy,” Ujah said. The expert added that complications associated with unsafe abortions and pregnancies commonly existed among young adults who naturally would not want to visit the hospital for contraception. He observed that young women mostly abort pregnancies with quacks owing to the panic of facing discrimination from their reproductive healthcare provider and the society. “Unsafe abortion and risks of unwanted pregnancies are mainly associated with young adults between the ages of 10 to 25, and these are the people that willingly will not access family planning. “Most times they are scared of what people will say, maybe they are not married and as a result they end up aborting pregnancy with quacks which can cause death,” said the director-general.However, Ujah enjoined reproductive healthcare providers to realise that these group of young adults have unmet needs. He further noted that contraception in sexually active women would ensure that unsafe abortions that may lead to maternal mortality were minimised.
source:The Nation Newspaper