Paul Osuyi, Asaba
An Assistant Director in the Department of Women Affairs under the Delta State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Mrs Jean Adebayo, has attributed the rate of unwanted pregnancies in society to people’s inability to control the urge for sex.
Mrs Adebayo spoke in Asaba during an advocacy visit as part of activities marking this year’s World Contraception Day.
She said the day was set aside to enlighten the public on the need to embrace contraceptives as way to properly space out the number of children and to check unplanned pregnancies.
‘There are women who get pregnant every year and this makes them weak and makes it difficult for them to take care of the next child,’ she said.
‘Before now, our mothers used breastfeeding to check pregnancy and for child spacing but it is not working for today’s women as most women get pregnant while breastfeeding their babies.
‘So, contraceptives have come and with proper use of it can help in child spacing; you use it when you don’t want to become pregnant and stop the use when you want to raise children,’ she explained.
Earlier during the visit by the Advocacy Core Group, the Director in the Department, Mrs Faith Okpohworho, described advocacy for family planning as a service to humanity.
She said if not for advocacy, many people would have perished in ignorance, adding that buying into government programmes and policies had brought a lot of awareness to the people to solve their problems.
‘I want to assure you that the Ministry and the Commissioner for Women Affairs are receptive to policies and programmes that are meant to help our women and young people in society.
‘And for the advocacy, creating awareness and sensitisation, I want to assure you that it is part of our policy and mandate to reach the people with the programmes and benefits they can get in both the urban and rural communities.
‘And to our young girls, to enable them protect themselves, I urge you to sustain this advocacy,’ Okpohworho said.
The Chairperson of the group, Rachael Obodo-Obunseli, said the group came to seek the support of the Commissioner and the Ministry to ensure that family planning needs in the State are met.
She also urged the Ministry to support the advocacy to get more funding from the State Government.
She called for the creation of awareness to promote the use of contraceptives and other family planing methods to sustain the advocacy.
Obodo-Obunseli said: ‘We are here to seek partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs to drive the push on family planning in the State.
‘We are here to reiterate our call for support to ensure that every young adults can access family planning in the State.
‘It is no longer alien to speak to the adolescents on family planning and this has helped to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually related diseases.
‘This is why we have come to use your platform, the Department of Women Affairs and other platforms, to reach out to the adolescents and to attain the family planning needs in the State.
‘Currently, the state government has made a budget line of N25 million for only family planning in the Ministry of Health, and we are saying it is not enough.
‘We are asking that you support the initiative and through your memos the government will see the need to increase the funding of family planning to enable service delivery workers to carry out their duties unhindered.’