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.
Mrs Ojone Akubo, Asst. Director, Nursing Services at Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), 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.
“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”, she said.
Mrs Aishatu Momoh, the Chief Nursing Officer of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja, also confirmed to NAN the increasing demand for family planning by couples.
According to Momoh, 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 NAN, showed that there was a sharp increase in family planning from Aug. to Oct. 2016 compared to 2015.
According to the records, 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 by NAN.
Some couples, who spoke to NAN at the hospitals, shared their various experiences on the recession and the reason for opting for family planning.
Mrs Earn Jimoh, a mother of two and a full time housewife, told NAN that she just needed to halt childbearing for now due to the present hardships.
“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”, Jimoh said.
A mother of four, Mrs Rose Okpanachi, told NAN that she already had four female children but believed God would provide a male child.
“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”, Opanachi said.