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Family Planning: Niger, most fertile state in North Central zone – Commissioner

Niger State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Muhammad Makusidi has described Niger state as the most fertile with fertility rate of 7.5 per cent in the North Central Geo-Political Zone of the Country. The Commissioner stated this shortly after an advocacy visit meeting with representatives of World Health Organisation (WHO), White Ribbon Alliance, John Snow Inc, Pathfinder International, Society for Family Health (SFH), and the Association for Reproductive and Family Health on the National Self Care Programme in Minna.

Makusidi who did not state the fertility rate of other states in the zone, explained, “The fertility rate of women in Niger state is 7.5 per cent and it’s the highest in the North Central. That means each woman averagely gives birth to 7.5 children” According to him “in Niger state, many of us have one, two, three or four children. There is a family in the state that has 35 children.

There are another two families where we gathered them together with a total of 87 children”. On the Self Care Intervention, he said, the state government would embark on a lot of sensitisation to encourage the people, especially women and the vulnerable to embrace the programme in the state, adding, “a planned reproductive health guarantees a healthy society devoid of social and economic bondage especially as Nigeria is going through difficult”.

Earlier, the Executive Director, Niger state Primary Health Care Agency, Dr. Ibrahim Dangana noted the need for Nigeria to tackle the issue of increasing demography, warning that if it fails to do, it would be faced with population challenge not too long from now. According to him, “Nigeria needs to do something about its demography and if nothing is done, we will not be able to make the best use of our population, we have seen countries faced with a lot of crisis and we might have such in time to come” “We have seen countries with overpopulation and when they got the right policies, they were able to attain a certain significant level of development and they are beginning to lessen the restrictions around population growth. Hopefully, Nigeria can key into this.

“We are optimistic that the intervention will help remove barriers preventing Nigerlites from accessing Child Spacing Services”. During her remarks, the National Coordinator and Leader of the Advocacy Team, Christiana Asala disclosed that the main purpose of the visit is to provide guidance on implementation of Self-Care recommendation at both State and LGA’s of the state. She also classified the National Self-Care Guideline into four thematic area’s, Improving antenatal, delivering Post Partum Newborn Care, Providing high quality Family Planning Services, Safe Post, Abortal Care and Combating STIs among others.

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