In their efforts to increase the level of awareness of family planning and other related issues in such a way to increase the number of people taking up family planning/child spacing, the Development Communications (DEVCOMS) Network in collaboration with Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), have on Wednesday inaugurated a media forum for the dissemination of information between the two organisations and the family planning service users.
DEVCOMS Programme Officer, Omobonike Adebayo while welcoming the participants to the media roundtable on family planning and child spacing which preceded the inauguration of the forum, informed that, “Nigeria’s population continues to increase rapidly with no commensurate development in health care service delivery.
“With a current estimated population of 186 million and an annual growth rate of about 2.5%, Nigeria’s huge population, fueled by high birth rate without good family planning, can be a huge burden with resultant poor health indices such as high maternal and infant deaths. Nigeria’s maternal and child mortality is one of the highest in the world”.
Adebayo while inaugurating the forum which is to be led by Mr. Sola Adeyemo of New Telegraph Newspaper (Chairman), said the forum which had already been launched in both Lagos and Kaduna states was established in recognition of the critical role of the media.
Others executive members of the forum include Rolake Bello of Fresh FM Ibadan (Vice Chairman) Adebisi Adetunji of Radio Nigeria (Secretary), Raji Adebayo of The Herald Newspaper (Assistant Secretary), Sade Oguntola of Nigerian Tribune (Treasurer) and Toyin Salau of 32 FM Ibadan (Financial Secretary).
Adebayo while speaking said “This is in recognition of the critical role the media play in agenda setting on matters of national interest”.
Also speaking at the roundtable, the State Team leader of NURHI, Mrs. Stella Akinso commended journalists in the state for their prompt and adequate reportage of family planning and other related issues.
Akinso while soliciting more supports from media practitioners in the state said she was grateful that she has been enjoying a good working relationship with the media in the state.
According to her, “One of the things is that, we have been enjoying and working closely with media people in the state”.
Earlier in his paper titled “Family planning budget allocation and timely release- The great imperative”, The Medical Officer of Health, Akinyele Local Government Area and immediate past Chairman Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Oyo state chapter, Dr. Muideen Olatunji described family planning as a veritable tool in reducing maternal and child mortality.
Olatunji while speaking called for effective budget monitoring and budget tracking to ensure that money budgeted for family planning is tailored for what it was meant to do. He solicited for support and cooperation of all and sundry to increase the contraceptive prevalence rate in the country.