The present economic recession in Nigeria is having a profound impact on lower and modest-income couples in Kogi State as their demand for family planning has increased.
The Asst. Director, Nursing Services at Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, Mrs. Ojone Akubo, said that the demand for family planning had been on the increase since March.
Akubo said the number of women coming for family planning was on the high side when compared to the same period in 2015.
He said, “Women are now coming willingly to do family planning unlike before that one needs to cajole or entice them before agreeing to do such.
“According to our records, 236 persons did family planning from June to October 2016 compared to 129 that did during the same period in 2015.
“In October this year alone, 41 persons came to do family planning while it was only 19 in October 2015.
“Our service is free except for just a little token for registration. So, it does not cost anything for women to achieve their childbearing goals especially in this recession period.”
The Chief Nursing Officer of Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Mrs. Aishatu Momoh, also confirmed that the increasing demand for family planning by couples.
He said that the present economic hardship in the country is really forcing couples to engage in family planning to reduce the number of children.
The Daily Family Planning Register of the National Health Management Information System, FMC, Lokoja, given to our correspondent showed that there was a sharp increase in family planning from Aug. to Oct. 2016 compared to 2015.
The records showed that 782 persons came for family planning from June to October compared to 529 during the same period last year.
The register also revealed that in October alone, 171 persons came for family planning at FMC Lokoja, while it was only 121 in October 2015.
The same trend of increasing number of women demanding for family planning due to economic recession were also noticed in all private hospitals visited.
Some couples who shared their various experiences on the recession and the reason for opting for family planning.
A mother of two and a full time housewife, Mrs. Earn Jimoh, said that she just needed to halt childbearing for now due to the present hardships.
She said, “I am a full time housewife without a job or any business venture which has made my husband to be overloaded with responsibilities of family upkeep and other expenses.
“I and my husband have agreed to stop childbearing for now and that is the reason we are here to do family planning.”
A mother of four, Mrs. Rose Opanachi, said that she already had four female children but believed God would provide a male child.
She said, “But the economic recession is forcing me and my hubby to do family planning in order to stop childbearing, because my husband is a junior civil servant and I am a petty trader.
“We believe God that if things get better in the nearest future, we will still have our male child.”