As part of activities to celebrate the
World Population Day, journalist have been tasked to educate and enlighten people on the significance of family planning which is also sacrosanct to National development.
The Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Agency, Doctor Hadiza Balarabe made the call at the annual media forum to comemorate the World population day in Kaduna.
The annual media meeting which is part of activities of the Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, NURHI with the support of Development Communication, DEVCOMS was to celebrate the day with emphasis and attribution to family planning activities.
Doctor Hadiza said the theme for this year’s celebration is unique, timely and apt, ‘family planning is a human right’, saying, “World Population Day is about countering any notion of population control to ensure that future generations never take a hard-won human right for granted, and also strengthen the global rights and development frameworks that supports it”.
She recalled that, Fifty years ago, the United Nations International Conference on Human Rights resolved in the Proclamation of Teheran of 13 May 1968 that “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children. Family planning was, therefore, a human right for couples to exercise, not population control to be imposed by the State”.
Represented by the Director, Primary Healthcare Services, Kaduna State, Doctor Iliyasu Neyu, she noted that, despite tremendous progress since 1968, hundreds of millions of women, men and young people are unable to exercise the right to plan their families, with about 214 million women still lacking modern contraceptives.
The Doctor called on journalist to enlighten people on the rights-based approach to family planning which treats individuals as full human beings in their own right, as active agents and not as passive beneficiaries.
“This approach is built upon the explicit identification of rights-holders (individuals) and the duty-bearers (governments and others) that are responsible for delivering on rights. Today, family planning is widely accepted as a foundation for a range of rights”, she stressed.
“Access to voluntary family planning enables women to space their births, benefiting both mothers’ and children’s health. Family planning also reduces the risk of death and disability from pregnancy and childbirth too early or too late in a woman’s reproductive life”.
Doctor Hadiza said family planning is essential to overcoming poverty, which deepens when individuals can’t choose the size of their family.
In an interview sampled amongst Kaduna residents by our correspondent on the celebration, Mrs Mary Jatau said, “A woman would be healthier and successful if she plans her family and her life. It will enable her access education, her carrier and contribute meaningfully to her family and the Nation at large”.
Another resident, Rabi Musa said, “Although i have five children, I was able to space them because my first child is 19 while the last is 3. Am a working class mother who has made informed decision with the support of my husband. Am also an advocate of family planning who believe that women are entitled to the rights of spacing their children “.
Report indicates that, women who have fewer risky births, healthier pregnancies and safer deliveries face lower risks of death and improved overall health.
Their babies are born healthier and their children’s health is better early in life.
These improvements in health produce an array of economic benefits: greater investments in schooling, greater productivity, greater labour force participation and, eventually, increased income, savings, investment and asset accumulation.