However, a resident doctor at the hospital who did not wish to be named said there had been an upsurge in the number of clients visiting the family planning clinic since the onset of recession
“The awareness is high but a lot still needs to be done in the rural parts. That’s where the problem really is. I am not talking about people living outside Lagos. All the slums in Lagos are parts of the rural communities we are talking about. We need people to take the message to them as well. Family planning is like a course in the university. Take the issue of contraceptives for example. You need a doctor to give you all the available options and then discuss with you what methods are most suitable for you.”
Planning is prevention
At G and T Nursing and Maternity, Ilapo Estate, Alagbado, the family planning section is supervised by Mrs Florence Yusuf. She said the “good side” of the recession is that the campaign for family planning is at last receiving the attention and urgency it deserves.
“I want to confirm that there has been an improvement in the rate at which people come for counselling. People have been coming more and more to the clinic. And when they leave, they tell others. There are a number of NGOs that have also been collaborating with us and other clinics. With the collaboration, the charges are drastically reduced so that almost everybody can afford it.
“Now with recession, I don’t think we need to continue to emphasise the need to plan. What I mean is that the condition is even helping us to spread the message. Everybody now weighs their pocket. You know that every child has a number of fundamental rights, like the right to education, shelter, clothing and food. And those are the basic ones. With the way things are, we are supposed to have more clients in the family planning clinics across the country. There is no point bringing a child to this world without having any plans for the child.
“Our emphasis is on prevention. Abortion is not a part of family planning. And, you know, the law of the land does not support abortion. Planning makes it possible for parents to have enough for their children. I have seen parents who would come to the clinic and their children are sick and they cannot even afford the drugs for their treatment, even the cheapest capsules, they cannot buy,” Yusuf said.
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