Religious, cultural beliefs hindering family planning in Nigeria – Service Provider

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Religious inclination and cultural beliefs are holding back service providers in Nigeria from encouraging unmarried young people to prevent unwanted pregnancy through family planning.

Dimos Sakellaridis, Country Director, DKT International, said this on Tuesday in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES against the backdrop of the World Contraception Day.

The Day is usually celebrated on September 26.

Mr. Sakellaridis said many women in Nigeria, especially those who are single, find it difficult accessing family planning kits or having the freedom of choice because family planning providers are generally biased about providing it to them.

“It should be pointed out that in most cases, this stems from the providers’ religious inclination or cultural beliefs. Some healthcare providers are biased and also have limiting perception about family planning,” he said. 
“This bias also prevents them from either offering family planning services or make them to give wrong information to women seeking family planning services.”  
Mr. Sakellaridis pointed out that a major challenge is that many women have misconceptions about family planning which prevents them from seeking contraception when they have a need for it. 
“This and the perception of most of the providers is posing a great challenges on the field throughout Nigeria when detailing commodities to suppliers,” he added.  
In a bid to promoting family planning, Nigeria earlier this month launched a new new campaign “Green Dot” to give 7.3 million women access to family planning and close the contraception gap in the country. 
The “Green Dot” would serve as the official marker for public and private locations where people can obtain family planning that are safe, affordable and effective. 
The aim is to reduce maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in the country as Nigeria currently ranks one of the highest in maternal mortality rate in the world.