MamaYe activism for family planning in Lagos

To achieve the 2017 World Population Day - Birth Spacing: Empowering People, Developing Nations' objective, we must consider the economic benefits of child spacing and family planning.

Celebrating the World Population Day with the theme: Birth Spacing: Empowering People, Developing Nations, MamaYe-Evidence for Action partnered with the Lagos State Ministry of Health to create awareness on, and access to information on family planning as a means to adopting and practising effective birth spacing.

According to the World Health Organisation, 214 million women of reproductive age in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method. In a 2017 report on Monitoring Progress in Family Planning, 23% of women in Nigeria cannot access the modern contraceptives that they want.  

During a 1-day campaign, MamaYe Super Activists in Lagos State engaged in market storm at Surulere and Lagos Island Local Government Areas in April, and another round in May 2017.

The Lagos Island market storm was carried out in three designated market areas. MamaYe Super Activists, health workers, civil society organisations, the media, and volunteers from the designated communities all came out to support the campaign. Journalists taking part in the family planning awareness campaign.

MamaYe Super Activists gave enlightenment talks on the importance of family planning and child spacing. They encouraged regular visit to primary health centres to access family planning services, and they distributed condoms as a means of encouraging the prevention of diseases and unwanted pregnancies. The World Health Organisation posts,

Some family planning methods, such as condoms, help prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

  • world population day 2017 mamaye
    Journalists taking part in the family planning awareness campaign
  • world population day 2017  journalists
    Journalists taking part in the family planning awareness campaign
  • world population day 2017 mamaye
    MamaYe Super Activist speaking about family planning with a trader in the market

The future

Nigeria commits to increase Contraceptive Prevalence Rate by 2% every year to achieve 36% by 2018. This will avert 31,000 maternal deaths and 1.5 million child deaths and save more than 700,000 mothers from injuries or permanent illness due to childbirth (In 2016 the rate was only 14.7%).

The Lagos State Ministry of Health Family Planning personnel advised the audience to always visit the primary health care centres that provides family planning services in their communities. The centres provide family planning services at no cost, and they advise on questions relating to family planning uptake and commodities.

Negative opinions and myths emanating from cultural, social and religious standings surround and deter the embrace of family planning. This realisation necessitates increased and improved awareness creation to help many families make decisions on raising healthy and wealthy families, using the right methods.

MamaYe Super Activists used family planning themed songs and dances to attract market men and women. At the end of the campaign, many who received the family planning awareness and information expressed their conviction that family planning should be embraced by all women of reproductive age for healthy living.

Enabling Nigerian women to make decisions about their health and their futures is not only the right thing to do; family planning is one of the best buys in development.

It’s essential we continue the momentum gained in Lagos to ensure that family planning is an option for all women and girls, everywhere.

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