A-DAY OUTREACH ON FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES (FP) In commemoration of World Population Day at Oje Market, Ibadan

A view of Oje Market on Tuesday 10th July 2018 Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia
NURHI Community mobilizers sensitizing market men & women about the ongoing free family planning service outreach. Photo by @debisibusybeeMedia

At the Oje Market bustling with activities where market women display their wares and goods to sell to customers, the atmosphere was a mixed ambiance of buying and selling noise and drums with dancing.

Something was up at the market on this day. Right at the center of the market close to the “Babaloja” (Chairman of the market) tents were mounted up and chairs arranged to receive beneficiaries of the free family planning services been provided for the market women and anyone who was interested in accessing this service.

As one of the media crew who was present to cover this exciting program I observed that a few women were already sitting waiting patiently as the health workers and FP service providers set things up putting in place products to serve these dear women who keep working hard to make a living and taking care of their family members. Other women hawking bread; food vendors and so on dropped their wares to take advantage of the moment. I knew juicy stories were waiting for me here but most of all it was great seeing these low income earning women get the opportunity to make a decision about their reproductive life.

The slogan for the outreach-

Family Planning is Life Planning: Know About it, Accept it, Access it.

Nigeria currently ranks  number 7 in the world population. In a 2017 report earlier by UN- Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) the country is expected to be the the third most populous nation in the world! Nigeria with a projected population of 187million is expected to grow to about 250million. This is alarming given the nation’s economic indices and GDP growth which is not commesurate to cater for provision of basic amenities and sustainable livelihood for citizens. The government need to plan for the future by putting in place measures to control population explosion that will further impact negatively on our economy.

Meet two of the beneficiaries as they share their FP story and onwhy they showed up at the outreach:

Mrs Idowu and her baby after taking her free injectable family planning method. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Idowu Olaide – FP Service beneficiary – A tailor 
I am at Oje Market to access the free family planning services been provided here today. I became a user of FP because my older sisters who are also mothers are users of family planning. This encouraged me to also become a user when I began to have my children and It has been three years now since I started using FP. I am on the 3 monthly injectables Family planning method. So today I came for a follow-up visit to have another dose of my FP method. I have enjoyed the method I use. Often I tell other women to also go and access family planning because it has many benefits. It prevents a woman from getting pregnant when she is still nursing a baby

Mrs Saheed after collecting her FP Pills in an interview with Journalists. @debisibusybeeMedia

Mrs. Saheed Suliat 
I became educated about family planning and its benefits through awareness on the radio and then at the clinic nurses and health workers talk to us about it. I have been a user of the Pills family method even before I got married. Today I am here to access free FP services and therefore I was able to get my pills for free here at this outreach in the market
This particular beneficiary had a misconception that FP prevents sexually transmitted diseases. It is important to note that only Condom has a double protection which is preventing unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Some of the Facilitators of the Outreach share their thoughts :

Mrs. Victoria Segilola -Program Officer ARFH
This outreach is all about bringing the family planning services to market women who find it difficult to leave their business to go family planning to access services. So we have brought the free services to their doorsteps and attending to clients does not take more than 10 minutes and then they can go back to their shops. Team members and mobilizers are all over the market sensitizing the market women and men.

Mrs. Segilola has been an advocate for family planning for over 40 years.

I am happy at the progress we have made in reducing maternal mortality rate according to statistics. This the basis of all efforts at encouraging more women to take on family planning. And it is heartwarming to see that all collaborative efforts have greatly improved peoples uptake of FP.
However, these women need the support of their husband and government. More Funds investment by the government will improve these low earning women to have free access to family planning services.

Mrs. Stella Akinso State Team Lead, NURHI Oyo State
We are here at the Oje Market to let people know that family planning uptake is not by cohesion it is voluntary. Promoting the right of every human being to access FP particularly Women of Reproductive years
Right to information and quality services about family planning that will empower them to make the right decisions
Data shows that there is high knowledge but low acceptance of FP especially with rural and urban-rural women who still need their husband’s permission to take up Family planning services. We are encouraging spousal communication but also want people to know that it is the right of every individual of reproductive age to seek and to access family planning services.

As we celebrate another world population day it is imperative to understand that it is the right of every citizen to make informed choices about planning their lives in order to achieve a more productive life.

In our efforts to combat poverty we must pay attention to our population and be sure that we have enough resources to cater for our growing number.

Organizers:
National Population Commission in collaboration with development partners ( The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative(NURHI 2); Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN); Association of Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH); Oyo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (OYSACA); and National Orientation Agency (NOA).

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

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Number Changes a Whole Lot – Why Population is Important #WPD #Nigeria

Number indeed changes a whole lot of things. To understand what I mean, I will use these illustrations:

1) If you have 25 people sitting in an 18 seat Bus that is called overloading. Continuous overloading of the same bus by the driver will eventually cause quick wear and tear problem. Seats in the bus will quickly get worn out and tear, the engine and other parts of the vehicle will soon give way under the pressure of carrying more than it can bear. Overloading will also slow down the car such that it cannot move at its maximum speed. If the driver decides to over speed with too many passengers or load in the bus an accident may occur.
2) In order for a company or organization to thrive and prosper the owner(s) must plan for the number of employees, they will need to engage their services. Such plans will include how much goes for salaries; office spaces to be provided, health insurance, housing, and other benefits to motivate staff; parking space and more. No wonder then that when a company is not doing well financially or becomes less productive staff is downsized. This, of course, leaves a number of people out of job. So many companies try to work within a budget and with the number of employees they can cope with.
3) In the instance of a country, a census is carried out to determine the number of her citizens in order to be able to budget, plan and allocate resources to make life easy for members of the society.

If the above illustrations are true why then do we think that A population is just a number and nothing more?!

The population (number of people) in a family, community, village, office, country matters. Why? Because population or our number determines how and whether we will enjoy our resources and live comfortably well at least to a reasonable extent. Our number determines the number of basic amenities be provided such as houses, roads and other infrastructure. It also determines the amount of food that is needed to feed everyone or else people will starve. The more the number, the more investments to be made in various sectors such as agriculture, education/schools, health care, social welfare, jobs etc. The cost of governance goes up with increasing population.

The point of population stabilization is to reduce or minimize misery – Roger Bengston

As we celebrate another world population day come 11th July 2017, let us take seriously the issue of our growing number. According to the report of the United Nation’s 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects, Nigeria is projected to overtake the United States in population by 2050. To get a clear picture check out this calculation:

The US has 50 states and its population is currently about 326 million and projects 402million by 2050. Nigeria with 36 states is estimated to be about 182million currently. If we are to overtake the US by 2050 it means we would have grown by more than 220million in 33years while the US will have grown by just 76million.

This means that we are growing at the speed of a jet as a DEVELOPING NATION WITH SO MUCH WE ARE DEALING WITH! Can you imagine what will happen then judging by our numerous existing problems highlighted below?!
Wake up, people!
Wake up Nigeria!

The national budget of Nigeria for 2017 sums up to about N7.44trillion still many people live below the international poverty line of 1.90 dollar a day. Salaries are owed workers in many states; health facilities are ill-equipped to cater for our beaming population. There are no chairs and tables to give students an enabling environment to learn in our public schools; lecturers in higher institutions are more on strike than in school because they want to be better enumerated and also demand that world class facilities be provided in their institutions. Students also go on protests over demands for more hostels and classrooms to be built, hike in school fees. Many young people graduate every year than the labor market can handle. Our aging population is increasing every year as life expectancy is now improved. There are more dependants than the working class/those contributing to the economy. The government still has no serious welfare plan in place for any group of its vulnerable citizens.

The list of issues and problems facing us as a nation are endless. Are we going to keep pretending that these problems do not exist or handle them with kid glove?

It is time to pay attention to how to begin to solve these problems and reduce the cost of governance. It is time to plan for our collective future as a people.

We need to have a culture of working with numbers and planning ahead.

This year’s theme for the World Population Day:

Family  Planning, Birth Spacing: Empowering & developing nations.

“Family Planning and Child Birth Spacing are personal decisions but their profound implications on the health, economic and social well-being of the society are far reaching”. Chief Eze Duruiheoma, SAN – Chairman National Population Commission Nigeria.

We can have a better and great country if we seriously pay attention and act now to make life better for Nigerians. Government need to invest rightly and wisely.

People need to make informed choices to live a better and meaningful life.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)