By Smith Nwokocha. Appreciating the effort of Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning!
Q1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is David Prince. I’m an Educational Psychologist/Counselor by training from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I’m also a Social Media Manager. I’m very passionate about reaching out to young people in the society, and this passion has led me to working and volunteering with various organizations such as the Royal Ambassadors, Smart Innovation Hub, Rivers Media for Health and Family Planning, to mention a few.
Q2. As a Young person, what is the place of the Youths in today’s Celebration (World Contraception Day ✊) and what is your take on Life Planning?
Life Planning is a responsible decision made by young unmarried persons about their sexual and reproductive health. This is also the development of essential life skills such as communication skills and setting of goals. Life Planning empowers young people to realize their potentials and achieve life goals without the stress associated with unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The population of the country and the world has been on the increase due to unplanned pregnancy and lack of life and family planning. It is important young persons learn to plan their lives, make healthy and responsible decisions such as making use of the various Contraceptive methods.
Q3. How do we Popularize the use of Contraceptive?
There has always been the use of contraceptives, however, it has faced some major challenges due to the myths and misconceptions. Many young persons have suffered stigmatization, ridicule and shaming cause of their use of contraceptives. The use of contraceptives is a healthy and wise decision, and it should be encouraged amongst young persons to avoid the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections, unplanned pregnancies which lead to unsafe abortions.
The responsibility now is on parents, teachers, counselors, religious leaders, health personnels and other key stakeholders to encourage both the married and unmarried persons to take a family planning method. Adolescents should be taught about life and family planning in schools, hospitals, churches, mosques and other social groups. It shouldn’t be assumed they know it all. Also, parents should teach Sex-Ed from the age the child is able to understand, and this education continues all through to adulthood. Good thing, there is knowledge and information to be shared that suit all ages
The media is a powerful tool to drive social change. Messages on family planning should continually be broadcasted to sensitize people on the importance and benefits of life and family planning.
Q4. There is alot of talk about educating the Girl Child on the protection of their reproductive Rights, What role do you think the Male counterpart will play in today’s society?
Yeah. Men have an important role to play in protecting the rights of women and girls in the society.
Firstly, men have to take responsibility on the issue of family planning. Family Planning isn’t just for the woman, although women suffer the adverse effects of lack of it. Men should be educated and counselled on the benefits of family Planning and the various methods that can be adopted, such as the use of male condoms (a barrier method) and Vasectomy (which is permanent method for men). This way, there will be a mutual understanding between partners on the issue of Family Planning.
Secondly, men should let go of wrong and harmful ideas about their masculinity. For example, it is acceptable in some cultures and societies that it is right for a man to have multiple sexual partners and disregard their partners in decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. We have seen cases of women contacting STIs as a result of their partner’s multiple sexual affairs. This shouldn’t be the case! Men should show some responsibility and always discuss with their partners about planning their family; childbirth spacing and knowing the number of children to bear which they can adequately cater for.
Thirdly, men should be involved in parenting and support their partners in course of pregnancy and childbirth. Raising a child is an enormous responsibility and it shouldn’t be abandoned for the woman, as it is in some homes where men have left that responsibility believing it’s the job of the woman to nurture and care of the children. It is wrong and unadvisable. In protecting the rights of women, the place of love and support from the men can’t be overemphasized!
Fourthly, men should end violence against women. Gender-based violence come in forms such as domestic abuse, reproductive coercion, sexual assault, rape, economic control, sex trafficking, catcalling, harassment, and even child marriage. These are carried out to harm, disempower and terrify women. If men can take a stand against such evil and cruel practices, report criminal cases and teach/mentor young boys against such harmful practices, the rights of women will be protected.
Happy World Contraception Day!✊
Thank you so much for your attention!!