Abuja - The FCT Primary Health Care Development Board (PHCDB), on Tuesday reiterated the need to utilise family planning to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the health sector.
The executive secretary of the board, Dr Rilwanu Muhammed, said this at a training workshop of health workers on family planning technology organised by the agency in collaboration with UNFPA.
Muhammed said that family planning could reduce the chances of a woman dying due to pregnancy and its complications by 30 per cent.
"As many of us know, family planning is the ability of a couple to decide when, if and how many children they want to have.
"Family planning has a lot of benefits. In 2011, statistics in the FCT showed that maternal mortality rate was 281 per 100,000, which shows some improvement," he said.
The previous maternal mortality rate in the FCT was 400 per 100 000.
The medical doctor also said that family planning could reduce abortions or unwanted pregnancies, adding that abortion is presently illegal in Nigeria, yet still "widely practiced and usually unsafe".
"Unsafe abortion leads to a lot of complications like infections, haemorrhage, uterine rupture, subsequent infertility and, in some cases even death," he said.
Muhammed said that family planning allowed mothers to recover physically and emotionally before conceiving again "it is of immense benefit to the entire family".
He commended the efforts of government for making family planning commodities available free of charge at public hospitals.
The executive secretary advised health workers to be prepared for the influx of new clients who would come demanding for the commodities.
He urged the workers to be tolerant with patients, saying patients should be treated as clients.
Muhammed implored participants to put to practice the knowledge they would acquire during the training.
Also speaking, Dr Bose Adeniran, the Head of Reproductive Health, Federal Ministry of Health, said that family planning would help reduce maternal mortality.
Adeniran noted that availability of skilled manpower, commodity and demand creation were the three key factors to family planning.
She assured that family planning would go a long way in improving the health of women.