Category Archives: Health and Family Planning


World Health Day,

 Lagos, 6th April, 2023

World Health Day: DevComs Tasks Incoming Administration, Governors-elect On Providing Medical Facilities, Training Personnel

Nigeria’s foremost media development organization, Development Communications Network (DevComs) has called on the incoming administration at both federal and state levels to prioritise the health of Nigerian citizens by providing adequate resources, facilities and continuous training for practitioners.

DevComs made this call on Friday in commemoration of World Health Day with the theme ‘Health for All’ as the World Health Organisation celebrates its 75th anniversary.

Nigeria is expecting a new government at the federal level and in 28 states on May 29, 2023, when the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be sworn in as the 16th president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  As the country prepares for the new administration, DevComs urged for greater development and an appreciable increase in annual budgetary allocation to the health sector in order to improve the health conditions of Nigerians.

Source: Federal ministry of Health Nigeria 

Nigeria’s health sector got 4.75% in 2019, 3.83% in 2020, 4.18% in 2021 and 4.7% in 2022 fiscal years falling sort of the 15 percent target agreed upon in the Abuja Declaration.

It is time for Nigeria to join the ranks of countries that have met the 15% target and invest in the health of its people. By doing so, the country will be better equipped to tackle future health crises and improve the overall well-being of its citizens.

In a statement signed by its Program Director, Akin Jimoh, the media NGO said the world’s standardized medical facilities should be sufficiently available in all cities, towns, and villages, and accessible to citizens.  DevComs, argued, that Nigerians should find it easy and convenient to get to where they can receive medical treatments when needed, which is the first requirement of addressing an ailment.

“The new administration should be deliberate in prioritizing the health of citizens. Nigerians deserve quality health care with provision of adequate medical facilities that are affordable and accessible to citizens across the country,” the statement said.

“However, successive governments have not performed to the expectations of Nigerians as they always fell short of funding the health sector. This has to be addressed”.

“Also, the medical practitioners should be trained and retrained by the government. They should be paid well and the country must not fall short of health personnel.  Over the years, the country had suffered brain drain that has seen an exodus of doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health personnels leaving the shores of this country for greener pastures in the United States, Britain, Canada, and others. The situation has even worsened in recent times”.   

“We urge the new government to prioritize the health of its citizens by ensuring the timely release of funds allocated to the health sector. This action will not only improve the health outcomes of Nigerians but also contribute to the economic growth and development of the country” the statement said.


Omobonike Adebayo

Communications Officer



Development Communications (DevComs) Network is Nigeria’s leading media development organization with more than two decades’ experience in science, public health and social sector advocacy through the media.  DevComs won the first ONE Africa Award (2008) based on her innovative strategies in addressing maternal and child in Nigeria.

For further information:

Please contact via email


By Smith Nwokocha:

The Rivers State Primary Health Care Board in Partnership with Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning, embarked on a Covid-19 Vaccination exercise at the popular Mile 3 Park in Port Harcourt to get citizens vaccinated and stay protected against the virus.

It was a massive turn up from citizens, Market men and women in the Park responded and were vaccinated in their numbers.

Some of the remarks and feedbacks from those vaccinated was something that encouraged their fellow business persons, Including passers-by to join in for vaccination.

One Philip Nnamdi, a businessman at Mile 3 Park, after taken the second dose of Covid-19 Vaccine, he said, all the myths he heard about Covid-19 Vaccine is not true, at least he has taken it and he is very much alive and strong. Therefore, he encourages members of the public to go in for it and be protected against Covid. Other testimonials from others that were vacinnated,   were positive.

Total number of Citizens mobilized are 122.
Total number of Citizens immunized are 72.
Total number of Males are 44, while total number of Females are 28.

The Chairperson, of Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning, Mrs Jenewari Utomi-Harry was impressed with the outcome of the Mobilization exercise and commended the efforts of the Media team as well the Vaccination aids.


Free HIV/AIDS Test session

By Smith Nwokocha of Port Harcourt Wakawaka Blog in an interview with the Communication Liaison officer of IHVN on World AIDS Day!

Questions 1. What is your name, can we meet you?

Wakdet Lawrence, Senior Programme Officer and Communication Liaison Officer, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Rivers State.

Mr. Wadget Lawrence (Snr. Prog. Officer & Comm. Liason Officer, IHVN, Rivers State).

Questions 2. What is the theme for this year World AIDS Day?

END INEQUALITIES, END AIDS through sustainable financing

Questions 3. Is there a relationship between Family Planning and HIV/AIDS?ot directly. HIV/AIDS is a disease while FP or child spacing services are a health option provided for men and women of reproductive age to curb pregnancy or spread of disease. Nothing stops a PLHIV from using FP provided the type of FP offered, especially hormonal ones, do not interact or interfere with their anti-retroviral treatment.

Not directly. HIV/AIDS is a disease while FP or child spacing services are a health option provided for men and women of reproductive age to curb pregnancy or spread of disease. Nothing stops a PLHIV from using FP provided the type of FP offered, especially hormonal ones, do not interact or interfere with their anti-retroviral treatment.

Free Test Exercise on HIV/AIDS

Questions 4. Are there existing healthy preventive measures against HIV/AIDS and how can young people plug in?
Abstinence remains the best option or delayed sexual debut for young people. But for those already sexually active, it is recommended to use the ABC. A for Abstinence. B for Behaviour Change. C for consistent and correct use of condoms. The emphasis is on correct and consistent use which enables people hold the tip of the rubber (allows for seminal collection) while rolling on the rubber on an erect penis.

Questions 5. The Institute of Virology, The Challenge Initiative, CHAI, Ministry of Health, UNFPA, UNICEF among others, what Practical steps has these Institutions made in respect of preventing HIV/AIDS for the good of the society?

IHVN has been in the forefront of HIV prevention, care and treatment for over 15 years. We provide testing services, care and support for adults, paediatirc as well as adolescents and vulnerable children. We conduct a lot of sensitization on radio, community outreaches like during the World AIDS Day and enable mothers attending ante-natal care to access pre and postnatal services that prevents the transmission of the virus to a health unborn child. That is the goal for a HIV-free generation: to place infected pregnant mothers on treatment and the baby on prophylaxis for 6 weeks after delivery. That way, the baby doesn’t get vertical transmission for the virus from mother to child.
Again, IHVN with the support of the Government of Nigeria, Rivers State Government and our foreign partners or donors, we place all infected clients on Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy, HAART to achieve viral suppression and hence, stop the transmission of the virus to sexual partners. This is called the U=U which stands for Undetectable equals Untransmissible.

Questions 6. Final question, how does the rural dwellers benefit from all of these, because they seems to be less informed, owing to a lot of factors to access opportunities?

You know HIV and poverty have a lot of association, even though the virus doesn’t respect age, class, tribe or religion. Currently, community outreaches are going on daily in all nooks and crannies of Rivers State and other States we are providing services. We collaborate with the State Ministry of Health and the Primary Health Care Management Board in providing facility-based testing and treatment. So, most General Hospitals and Primary Health Care Centres provide testing and treatment which we provide.

We have indigenous staff working in the host communities who are able to speak the local dialect and are able to provide advocacy to community gatekeepers such as youth leaders or traditional leaders. That is usually the case before we gain access to the host communities, whether inland or in riverine or water-locked areas where they reside. In fact, we have combed almost every where in Rivers, even Bonny Islands where our presence is felt. We seem to be getting to saturation point as even the positive numbers seem to be reducing. It’s not yet uhuru but it seems we are getting to the level of epidemic control of the virus.

Group Photograph


H.E. Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo (Deputy Governor, Rivers State)

“Family Planning is so important in population balance, especially now because if our GDP is struggling and our population is exploding, unemployment and hunger will increase and other social services like education, health will be inadequate…” – HE, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Deputy Gov of Rivers State.

It’s a new dawn to intensify activities for more awareness/uptake of family planning for the Rivers State Family Planning Advocacy Working Group (FLAWG) and its offshoot media group; the Rivers Media for Health and Family Planning Network (RMH&FPN) as government promises its continued support to strengthen family planning programs and implementation in the state. This commitment was made by Her Excellency, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Deputy Governor of Rivers State during an advocacy visit to her office by the FP advocate groups.

Some Members of Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning Network

Her Excellency, who is the National Champion for Family Planning in Nigeria, made a promise to use every available opportunity to talk to women on the need to have only the number of children they can cater for especially in difficult times such as this. She welcomed the groups in her usual ‘open arms’ policy of a mother in the state.

Kudos to FPAWG
Kudos to RM4H&FPN
Kudos team TCI

Long live the government of R/S
Long live FPAWG
Long live RM4H&FPN





Group photographs with Team RM4H&FP & FPAWG & H.E. Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo

The Voice of A Young Advocate in Celebration of World Contraception Day 2021✊

The Influencer, David Prince.

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!!

Commemorating World Contraception Day 2021✊

The Exquisite Noela Ugwu

By Smith Nwokocha: Special Appreciation to Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning… Keep the ball rolling!

In an Interview with Nigeria’s Finest and Exceptional Growth Coach and First Class Consultant (Noela Ugwu).

Q1. What’s your view about the use of Contraception, but before you respond, can you tell us about yourself dear ma’am?

I am passionate about helping individuals and businesses achieve outstanding performance by developing a more result-oriented and adaptable work force. I am Noela Ugwu, also known as The Growth Coach.

The use of contraception is an idea that should be promoted everywhere among people of child-bearing age. The question now is which method is safer and why? I will go with Billings method (for married couples) because it has no side effects and complete abstinence for unmarried people who do not desire to have a child.

For a woman, contraception ensures that time is allowed between two pregnancies to enable the body heal. This is essential because tear and wear on the woman doesn’t end after pregnancy. The sleepless nights, baby friendly (which is strongly advocated) and the constant attention that a new born baby requires all take their toll on the woman physically, mentally and emotionally. She feels completely run down at the end of each day.

Also remember that many mums are either employed or self-employed so joggling a new born baby with one’s career is super demanding.

Q2. In your view, as a mother and coach of youngsters, what do you think are the benefits of Child Spacing/Life Planning?

Child-spacing is beneficial to children because it gives the parents enough time to bond with the baby before another one comes.

Poor spacing means that parents might have many babies in diapers, all seeking equal attention, at the same time. This could affect child development.

This will help the mother to be more loving and less stressed. It helps provide a more peaceful home as both parents could have time to rest and enough time for each other.

Poor spacing means that parents are constantly exhausted since the babies are not independent enough to help out in any way. It’s worse when the couple cannot afford a nanny.

This arrangement also puts enourmous pressure on the family finance since baby food and supplies are usually more expensive than those for adults. Again, parents end up buying several of the same items at the same time which wouldn’t have been necessary if the children were spaced. Proper spacing enables the parents to reuse the same items like cots, toys, potty trainers etc. for subsequent babies

Babies that are well spaced are healthier since the mother’s body has enough time to gain back expended nutrients.

Q3. Do you have a word for those in place of authority or Policy makers with respect to advocacy on Contraceptive use?

Q3. My word for those in authority is that the advocacy for contraception, especially abstinence among unmarried people, should be amplified.

Q4. The theme for this year’s World Contraception Day is:
” IT’S YOUR LIFE, IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.” What do you think about the theme?

4. This sounds good. Thank you.

Thank you so much ma’am for your time. Once again. Happy World Contraception Day ✊