Family Planning Does Not Make A Woman Promiscuous – Haastrup | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Family Planning Does Not Make A Woman Promiscuous – Haastrup

Family Planning
Posted: Aug 22, 2016 at 6:02 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Adewale Haastrup is the Programme Officer of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI). In this interview with CHIOMA UMEHA he discusses male involvement in family planning and how to increase the uptake of modern contraceptives in the country. Excerpts:

Can you assess the use of family planning commodities in Lagos State?
As at the last count, the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) was less than 30 per cent. That is about 26.4 per cent and Lagos State has proposed to achieve as much as 46 per cent CPR in by 2018. So, right now it is still low but the truth is that it has been static for the past four to five years.

Obviously, Nigeria  has a record of  low contraceptive use, how can  the number of people using family planning (FP) commodities be increased?
One of the key things is partnering with the media because I am sure that the more the media are disseminating information about it, the more information on it would get to the grassroots. Another thing is ensuring that the facilities are well equipped. We are going to partner with Lagos State.
We are going to be working in 50 health facilities in Lagos State. In all of these areas, we are going to ensure that we assist in rehabilitating those facilities and putting basic equipment that they would need.
Once these are available, of course it is going to help a lot of people to put great confidence in them that they can go to these facilities because the providers are well trained or they have been re-trained and then the facilities also can provide the services that are required.

 Some men do not support their wives in uptake of family planning commodities. Some women therefore seek family planning services secretly. Discuss male involvement in family planning?
Many men have complained about promiscuity. Using a family planning method does not make a woman promiscuous. If the woman is promiscuous, it means that she may contract sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and possibly HIV.
This is not what we want; using contraceptives does not make the woman promiscuous in any way. So, men should support their wives because women need the support of their spouses in making some decisions. Many women will only make that decision after they have discussed it with their husbands.
One of the key things we are preaching is that there is need for families to discuss; there is need for what we call the couple or the spousal communication. So that as we plan, if want to have any ceremony, we plan for it.
So, why don’t we plan how we want to live our lives. In the next 10 to 20 years how many children do we want to have within these pace of period; what kind of education do we want to give to them. These are the things we are talking about; it is not that families should not have children, but they should plan well to be able to take care of them effectively.

 If you are a man and your wife uses family planning commodities without your knowledge. What will you do when you know about it?
We have stories of couples who will have to sleep on different beds because they are afraid that if they sleep on the same bed, the woman might be pregnant. If a couple does a family planning, the wife and the husband will be able to enjoy themselves more.
At times, if they have only one room, the man will decide to use the sitting room, while the woman and the children use the bedroom because he feels that getting close to the woman will in pregnancy.
Of course, she is your wife and the husband has every right to meet with his wife every time. These are some of the reasons why women will just decide to go for this family planning method so that they can also enjoy their husbands.
For a woman whose husband, for instance, resists her going for any family planning method, what chance does she have to take advantage of the family planning?
Dialogue is very important. NUHRI will not support any woman going ahead to do things that the husband does not want because we do not want to separate families. What we want is bonding in families. Dialogue matters in this thing.
What does your husband think and say about it? How does your husband want to relate with you on this issue? You must find a way of discussing with your husband so as to bring him to the same level on which you are such that both of you will be on the same page.
That is why I spoke about communication because you need to find out the following: Why did a woman use contraceptives? Has she talked to her husband about it before, or possibly she had tried to talk to her husband about it and he did not give her the opportunity to express herself? It is also possible that she needs family planning to support her husband in taking care of the family.

Can you discuss NUHRI’s aim to increase the uptake of CPR?
One key thing NUHRI is talking about is not just about increasing the uptake of CPR, but to make family planning a society norm in the sense that at each home, at our meetings, at our work place and anywhere we find ourselves, we should talk freely and conveniently about family planning.
That is the key aim of NURHI’s programme. Of course, we want to support the Lagos State Government by contributing at least 12.5 per cent increase in people that are using modern contraceptives.