The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) says Kogi is currently ranked lowest in terms of contraceptive usage and adoption of family planning in the middle belt.
Dr Gabriel Alobo, USAID Team Leader, Maternal and Child Survival Programme (MCSP) in Kogi, disclosed this in Lokoja at the inauguration of “Kogi State 2018-2021 Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan and Green Dot Logo”.
According to Alobo, Kogi has the lowest contraceptive usage within the Middle Belt region with about 11 per cent for all methods and 8.5 for modern methods.
This, he compared with the national average of 15 per cent for all methods and 10 per cent for modern methods.
He said that the Costed Implementation Planning was developed to determine what it would cost Kogi to move from its current low level family planning usage of 11 to about 20 per cent.
According to him, the estimated cost of the materials and logistics needed is put at about N500 million.
“We felt that we need to create demands by radio jingles and good advertisements to ensure that people come for family planning.
“We need to have more people participating in family planning; we need commodities in the facilities.
“The effect of this low level family planning is that more women and children are dying because more women are getting pregnant,” Alobo said.
The Country Director of MCSP, Dr Adetiloye Oniyire, represented by Mrs Ugo Okoli, a Deputy Director of MCSP, said MCSP has helped to reduce maternal and child mortality rate in Kogi.
Oniyire added that the agency had also donated several medical equipment to health facilities, contributed in training of tutors and instructors, supported with teaching materials and data collation and validation,
The Wife of Kogi Governor, Mrs Rashida Bello, who launched the programme, said, “Family planning remains a strong pillar of ‘Save Motherhood’, and allows people to have children by choice and not by chance.
“Contraceptive usage reduces maternal rate and the burden of maternal and child death in Nigeria.”
She restated the commitment of the Yahaya Bello-led government to the wellbeing of women and children, given the various interventions it has so far embarked upon across the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, said Kogi currently had 247 family planning clinics, adding government was determined to establish more clinics to reach more communities.
“We have also recorded appreciable reduction in unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions all and around Kogi state,” Audu added. (NAN)