'Child spacing curbs maternal, child mortalities'
Stakeholders have called for the embrace of child spacing, stressing that it curbs maternal and child mortalities as well as constitutes an essential part of wellbeing of families.
"In Nigeria, all Demographic Health Surveys, DHS, have shown this pattern. The 2013 DHS data showed that when births are spaced at least three years apart, the number of infants deaths fall dramatically, " Country Director, Health Policy Plus(HP+) Nigeria,Onoriode Ezire noted
Speaking at the launch of Sokoto state Resources for the Awareness of Population Impact on Development, Rapid, he said through an effective birth spacing programme , lives of 4,611 children and 579 mothers in Sokoto state can be saved n Sokoto by 2020.
"Child spacing is a way to go, it will give our women good health, it will make our children live healthy, it will free resources for other economic activities such as education, health, employment and make the state prosperous, " he stated.
Ezire also observed:"The state is currently increasing in population more than the rate it is growing economically. This is recipe for disaster."
He noted that Sokoto's population had experienced a six-fold increase since 1960,from about 800,000 people to 5.1million in 2015 while in 2017,it is estimated to be close to 5.4million.
"Such rapid population growth can have negative outcomes on the availability and accessibility of education, healthcare and employment in the state.,"
At the current growth rate of about three percent per year, Sokoto's population will double in about 23years,reaching 9.8million.By 2050,the population will reach 16million people, Almost three times larger than the current size."
He added that slowing population grow through greater investment in family planning could help reduce some of the potentially negative consequences.
Onoriode who noted that Sokoto's annual Contraceptive Prevalent Rate CPR growth rate as - 1% per annum against national annual CPR growth rate of O.7%,said if the state can reduce its fertility rate and achieve the national annual CPR increase target of 2 percent, 363,000 fewer primary students would need to be educated in 2050 and about N16 billion saved.
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