By Franca Ofili
Prof. Abubakar Panti, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, has called for urgent steps, such as a legislation, to address the spiraling population size of Nigeria.
Panti made the call in Abuja, at a three-day online training for media practitioners on Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH).
The training, organised by Rotary Action Group for RMCH, is with support from Rotary International, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
The medical practitioner stressed that birth control at family level was imperative, saying it would tackle issues of economic hardships, scarcity of accommodation and the desire for better education in the current competitive world.
The don, who expressed worry that though “the global fertility rate has declined, sub-Sahara Africa still accounts for the highest.
“Nigerian fertility, when compared to other countries’ rate, is not encouraging; the total fertility rate has fallen markedly over time in many countries, but the country ranks 10th in countries with the highest fertility rate globally.
Panti noted that this was in spite of the fact that in developing countries, women continued to die because they lacked access to contraception.
According to him, each pregnancy multiplies a woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy complications or childbirth due to lack of family planning.
He said such deaths were preventable as there were still affordable options such as the traditional methods of child spacing.
Panti, however, maintained that modern contraceptive methods remained the best with wide and safe varieties such as the Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD), used world-wide by more than 100 million women.
“IUCD is an effective, reversible and long term method of contraception which does not require replacement for long periods and does not interfere with sexual activity,” he said.
Also speaking on child and infant mortality, resulting from poor handling of pregnancies or effective ante-natal clinicals, the don said it had continued to be a persistent health challenge, especially in Nigeria, which was the second largest contributor to under-five mortality in the world.
Panti said that in 2019 alone, child mortality rate of Nigeria was 117.2 death per 1000 live births.
According to him, it is estimated that every day Nigeria loses 2300 children under-five years.
“The more women lose children, the more they want more by getting pregnant without proper planning. (NAN)