From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
Communities in Zing, Taraba State, have embraced family planning with enthusiasm as a way to check family sizes in tune with current economic realities.
Mrs Roseline John Jella of the General Hospital Zing, who is the local government coordinator of family planning, said that there was a lot of awareness as a result of their outreach program and activities of some NGOs, that has triggered overwhelming interest from the locals.
Jella, who disclosed this while conducting journalists around some of the Primary Health Care facilities in the local government area, said that there were no prevailing cultural beliefs militating against the practice in the area.
‘Few years ago, most people were avers to family planning, immunization, and even ante natal. Today, I can tell you that these people have embraced family planning and go the extra mile to access the facilities and services. On a monthly basis,we over a thousand persons visiting our facilities for family planning. Interestingly, single adults avail themselves of these services just as much as married couple,’ Jella said.
‘Part of the things we tell people especially single young persons coming for family planning is that, there is more than pregnancy, and so accessing the services should not become a license for them to start going around sleeping with men as they risk contracting diseases and even degrading their integrity and dignity as women.’
Our correspondent, who visited some medical facilities in some communities across the local government reports that, both married men and women, students, young single adults are now accessing various family planning services.
At the Yakoko Primary Health Care Center, Mrs Roseline Vontih said that the facility has recorded tremendous rise in the number of persons coming for the services.
‘We usually go out on outreach to enlighten the on health issues generally especially as it relates to maternal and child health. This has really improved the disposition of the people to accessing conventional medical services. It is interesting to note that the people here have embraced family planning overwhelmingly. Married men and women troop in daily for counseling and family planning. The number of single adults who also come in for the services is very impressive.
‘We have the challenge of staffing and water portable water and I want to use this platform to call on the government to heed our appeal and increase our numbers here. Most of the people you see around are volunteer workers. We also need toilet facilities especially now that we are also preaching against open defecation to the community. It’s contradictory when people visit our facility and find out that we don’t even have toilets.’
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Felicity Emmanuel, told our correspondent that she is now able to space her children properly and she now has more quality time with her husband without the risk of getting pregnant unplanned.
‘It was very embarrassing for me and my husband when I became obviously pregnant with our second child before our first child was a year old. That was when I started coming for family planning. My second child is almost four years old now and I have not taken in yet because my husband and I have decided to wait until things get better before having more children,’ another beneficiary said.