There are still barriers hampering contraceptive uptake among women of reproductive age in Nigeria, experts have said.
They made the disclosure on Monday during a webinar organized by Love Matters and Marie Stopes International to mark this year’s World Contraception Day.
Ogechi Onuoha, Communications Lead of Marie Stopes International said the barriers range from social, economic and logistic problems.
She said the social barriers include opposition by partners, families or communities, culture and religion, not knowing what contraceptive methods are available and having incorrect perceptions about side effects of modern methods.
She said logistical problems involve difficulty travelling to health facilities and supplies running out at health clinics.
Onuoha said about 18.9 percent of the contraceptives’ need among married women in the country is still unmet.
Quoting the Nigeria Health and Demographic Survey (NDHIS) of 2018, she said the total demand for family planning among married women was 35.5% but that only 16.6% of any method was met.
She said, “If the total demand for contraception in Nigeria was satisfied, the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions would drop by 77%.”
Alu Azege Country Director of Love matters called on medical practitioners to support young people in their quest for knowledge on contraception.
She said with so many birth control options available, choosing a most suitable form could be discouraging for many young Nigerians.
She said: “Our message to every Nigerian youth who finds it difficult to initiate conversations about contraception is to know that they need to be open about this in order to remain safe.”