Family Planning: Health Practitioners Debunk Misconceptions, Assures of Safety

A health practitioner, Hajia Balogun Mariam, has debunked the various myths surrounding family planning, describing all methods as well researched and confirmed safe by health experts at international level.

She also said, although, users of various methods of contraceptives experience certain signs and symptoms, they are natural and manageable.

Hajia Balogun, the Family Planning Coordinator at the Okelele Primary Health Care Centre, Ilorin, Kwara State, made the clarifications when she received The Challenge Initiative, TCI media advocacy group, during the field trip to the health centre.

According to her, there’s need to debunk the myths surrounding family planning which has discouraged many to agree to the service.

“Take for instance, that of IUD insertion. You hear them say that if you insert it, it’ll go inside their body and you will never be able to remove it again. That’s not true. All the methods are well researched and certified safe.

“Yes, there are cases where clients complain of certain symptoms like getting leaner, fatter, or having heavier flow. It’s natural to experience some of these changes and it’s no cause for worry.

“In fact, all these are manageable. Once we receive such complaint, we counsel, give drugs to correct or even change methods to make it suit the client,” she said.

Balogun expressed satisfaction with the turnout of clients for family planning in the last six months, just as she disclosed that more men now support family planning, but are shy to follow the women to the facility.

The service providers emphasised on the need for parents with sexually active adolescents to bring them for family planning in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and other related issues that may arise.

“The only observation is that adolescents who are sexually active are not coming as much as we expect. Although, some parents even come with their adolescent children who are sexually active, just to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but the turnout is still low for that age circle.

“As you can see, those seated there all came for family planning and it is free, as long as we enjoy support from TCI in consumables and commodities. Whether it’s implant, injectables or even male condoms, it’s all free.”

Sadiya Umar, a client while speaking with the media advocacy group during the field trip organized by TCI, said she has been using family planning service for the past 7 years and it has been effective in spacing her children.

Another client and social mobilizer for TCI, who spoke about the challenges faced during community outreaches and mobilisation for FP, noted that some women still do not access family planning services because their husbands do not approve.

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