ACCESSING FAMILY PLANNING SERVICES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Maternal and child health services is one of the essential health services in peril during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this, the Post Pregnancy Family Planning (PPFP) project — one of the projects under the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP) Family Planning Portfolio in Nigeria — and Lagos State Health Officers took to the media to discuss accessing family planning services from the private and public sector. These discussions were held in English and Yoruba Languages four media stations; Bond FM, Kiss FM, Nigeria Info FM and LTV8.

It focussed on the importance of maintaining access to life-saving services such as family planning to avoid unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

It was an engaging time with the listeners and viewers as issues such as the benefits of family planning, method choice immediately after delivery, balanced counselling, reproductive health right, involvement, side effects of family planning, myths and misconceptions, private-public involvement were discussed.

Highlights

  • Family planning is one of the essential health services that should not be hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic or resulting lockdown of various sectors;
  • Family planning is crucial to maintaining family health and individuals can access quality services at both public and private facilities branded with the green dot national family planning logo;
  • Men are encouraged to take responsibility, be supportive and take initiate the conversations on how to plan their families;
  • The withdrawal method is a less effective family planning method and should be replaced with more effective modern methods;Natural methods might not be effective during the period of lockdown or work from home, as partners are with each other all the time during this period;
  • It is safe and advisable for a woman to pick up a family planning method immediately after delivery;
  • Some women may experience side effects, but these are not harmful and can be taken care of by a trained family planning provider;
  • Youths are encouraged to embrace life planning as it is crucial to ensuring their health is maintained and aspirations are attainable.

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