World Health Organization (WHO) definition of Family Planning which is now refers to as child Birth spacing (CBS) is simply ‘’a way of thinking and living (a way of life) that is adopted voluntarily upon the basis of knowledge, attitudes and responsible decisions by individuals and couples in order to promote health and welfare of the family group and thus contribute effectively to the social development of a country.
From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
It is a decision in which couples make an informed decision on the desired number of children, space the birth and prevent unplanned pregnancy among themselves.
Some of CBS health benefits in a family includes that it allow mothers the opportunity to rest between pregnancies in order to regain her health and strength so that she will avoid complications during and after each pregnancy
It also enable Mothers to have healthy children and babies. Mothers will also have time to be able to develop themselves and contribute financially to upkeep of the family.
CBS removes fear of unintended pregnancy,it also give mothers chance to spend quality time with each child.
A Mother will be able to breast feed as long as possible thus providing her baby with nutritious food and protection from diseases and it Reduces maternal ill health and death of children.
But despite all the health benefits mentioned above, the question still remain how acceptable is CBS among marriage couples within communities in North, Kaduna in particular.
There are reports coming from some quotas that showed couples are skeptical in accepting the CBS drugs because majority of mothers in the state find it difficult to go for child spacing, as most time their husbands kick against the idea.
There are also some women who claimed the drugs given have negative effect on them because it make some of them look fats. While some say it seizes their monthly period and so they stayed away from the centres.
Some husbands too are blamed for not allowing their spouses to attend child spacing counseling. This is why the National Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) with the support of Gate foundation are working tirelessly to sensitize the public, particularly women on the need to accept child spacing as a solution to infant and child mortality.
A Child space Provider trained by NURHI on Child Spacing, a Staff Nurse Hassana Baba Nok was once interviewed during mothers Weak at Unguwar Rimi Primary Health care centre said she was taught on important of Child Spacing such as how to counsel her clients and the new method.
” Child spacing help women to give space among their children, it makes the women very healthy before the next pregnancy and it will also give her the
” strength to take care of other children. So it’s very important for her and the entire family members,” she said.
On the challenges encountered, if any, she said “We don’t have much challenges because the drugs were given to us by NURHI free of charge.
According to her, women have their rights, which is why she gave them the drugs to use.
“Some of the women do bring their husbands along for counseling and we counsel them very well because the backbone of child spacing is counseling. So that they have information for them to make a good choice,” she added.
“This is important because they have misconceptions about child spacing, there has been romour about child spacing but when you give them proper counseling it will clear the romour and misconceptions they have in their heads.
On the side effect of the drugs, she said it depends on the individual taking it because some women after using the drugs may have irregular menstruation while some don’t have.
Malam Kabiru Abdullahi NURHI State Team Leader said so far they have succeeded in reducing the misconception about CBS in the society, particularly kaduna state.
According to him, now there are large turnout of women visiting clinics for counseling on CBS.
” We have large turnout of women using our facilities within the state because we have succeeded in creating more awareness with regard to child Birth spacing and its benefit to health through counseling.
” CBS is for survival of women because it allow them to recuperate after birth to enable them take in after a particular period of time. Most of the religious leaders that speak against it in the past some of them have been trained and now speak in favour of it,” he said.
Kabir further explained that they have also succeeded in training more health staff on CBS and they are doing their best to sensitize more women to go for child spacing.
Kabir who listed some of the benefit of CBS to include reduction of infant mortality deaths in the country. Reduce excessive bleeding after birth, reduce prolong labour among young mothers and reduce hypertensive disorder during pregnancy.
” Our message to everybody is for husbands to support and encourage their wives to partake in child spacing. For religious cleric we appeal to them to always clarify and create awareness with regards to CBS. They should learn more before talking about it,” he said.
The team leader further call on government to provide more consumables and contraceptives that will be given or shared to couples free of charge at the clinics.
He said at NURHI they always encourage women to always go for counseling at recognized facilities located in all 23 local government Areas of the state instead of patronizing roadside chemists.
Some of the pregnant women spoke with at some of the child spacing centres within the state said they are being counsel each time they go for ante-natal about the importance of CBS.
” The nurses counsel us on CBS each time we go for anti-natal and most of us get more enlightened on the issue. Honestly, I have a change of thought about child spacing compared to before I started attending such counseling,” a housewife who pleaded anonymous said.
She also believe that the CBS will allow mothers to rest before taking another pregnant. This show how important it’s to educate couples on the benefit of CBS so as to change the misconception they have about it.