Report of the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) has revealed that 71 per cent of Nigerian women are unable to make informed decisions about their sexual activities. The report released by the National Population Commission (NPC), in Abuja recently, showed that the activities include reproductive health and contraceptive use.  Report of the survey was arrived at following series of national interviews and representative samples from 40,427 households across the country.

The NDHS report aims to provide up-to-date demographic and health indicators for the country and to assist in national planning. It shows that total demand for family planning commodities among married women in the country was 36 per cent, while 19 per cent of married women have an unmet need for family planning. It pegged contraceptive prevalence rate in Nigeria at 17 per cent for married women of 16-49 age bracket.

According to the report, 12 per cent of married women use modern methods while five per cent use traditional methods of contraception. “The use of any family planning method by married women had increased from six per cent in 1990,” it revealed. The report indicated that the knowledge of modern contraceptive methods was higher among 98 per cent of unmarried women than 94 per cent of currently married women.

According to the NDHS, 88 per cent of married women in Nigeria commonly use injectables while 87 per cent use pills. “It explained further that 78 per cent use implants, 77 per cent use male condoms while 58 per cent use lactation amenorrhea. “It added that 72 per cent Nigeria’s married women make use of traditional method of contraception.

“The contraceptive prevalence rate is 17 per cent among currently married women age 15 to 49,’’ the report said It added that currently most married women using contraception use modern method, which include male and female sterilization, injectables, Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs) and contraceptive pills.Others include implants, female and male condoms, Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM), and emergency contraception.

The survey stated that three per cent of married women currently used injectables and implants each, while the most common modern methods used by 19 per cent sexually active unmarried were female and male condoms. It said that there was an increase of contraceptive currently used by married women from 15 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2018, while use of modern method of contraception also increased, from ten per cent to 12 per cent.

It reported a noticeable rise in the use of implants since 2008, from zero per cent to three per cent.

The NDHS noted that modern contraceptive use was higher among 15 per cent married women currently living with three to four children, while among those with one to two children was 11 per cent. It reads further that the use of any contraceptive method was higher among 26 per cent of married women in urban areas than among those in rural areas with 10 per cent.

According to the report, modern contraceptive use among married women ranged from two per cent in Yobe and Sokoto to 29 per cent in Lagos state. “Modern contraceptive use among married women with secondary education is 23 per cent, while among those with no education is four per cent, “it stated.

NAN reports that the 2018 NDHS, which is the sixth in the series of DHS conducted in Nigeria is a five-year periodic worldwide survey programme designed by USAID with support from other international donor organisations. The survey is aimed at providing data for a wide range of monitoring and evaluation needs of programmes involved in population and health activities, although they can be used in nationally representative surveys as well. (NAN)

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