Be advocates of family planning, Ogun commissioner charges religious leaders

The Ogun state government has charged religious leaders to be advocates of family planning, stressing that family planning, if embraced by every woman would check overpopulation, maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancy and even crime rate in the society.

The state commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Funmi Efuwape who made the call in a chat with journalists in her office Saturday, advised women to give birth to the number of children that they can take care of.

She also called on religious leaders to set up a family planning unit in their churches and mosques to enlighten and educate women on the importance of adopting family planning methods.

Efuape said, “it was high time people, especially religious leaders jettisoned the erroneous belief that family planning is only meant for women that are promiscuous, saying “everyone must wake up to the reality that the economy is no longer thriving and there is no room for bearing children that you cannot take care of.”

She said family planning, if adopted by every woman would solve many problems such as maternal mortality, poverty, unwanted pregnancy, illiteracy, abortion and overpopulation, among others.

Her words, “Family planning is a project that I want to bring back on track because we have lost it along the line. Our people don’t have adequate knowledge of family planning methods, we are using the pills of family planning wrongly now.

“We want to strength our family planning units so that they can go back to doing what they are supposed to do; visit schools, make themselves accessible for children – our girl children to ask questions and even sometimes, train some of these women and the teachers.

“We will do the sensitisation, we will tell every entity, either religious, market or others what is expected of them on the issue of family planning. We are in the 21st century, we are growing out the erroneous belief that family planning is only meant for women that are promiscuous. We have to lecture and counsel women on family planning methods, do some tests to know the ones that suit individuals.

“I believe that religious entities should also have their own family planning units, because what is the purpose of a woman giving birth to eight children when she cannot even afford to take care of three? This does not make any sense,” the commissioner lamented.

Efuape disclosed that the state is partnering with the United Nations Population Funds and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in training and sensitising women on the need to embrace family planning, adding that her Ministry would take family planning advocacy to every nook and cranny of the state.

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