NIGERIA’S population is growing exponentially in the face of harsh economy, mismanaged resources, and poverty. This coupled with young women’s lack of access to fertility control; the country is heading towards a direction that needs to be steered. Contraception has been generally identified as an effective means of combating the problem of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion for young women. It is equally an effective means of family planning and fertility control and there very important in promoting maternal and child health. In the developing country in general and Nigeria in particular unwanted pregnancy, unsafe induced abortion, high fertility rates, high maternal mortality rates, STIs and HIV/ AIDS are all very serious reproductive health problems that require urgent attention.
Unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality accounting for as much as 22.5-40% of maternal deaths. As many as 610,000 abortions are estimated to be performed annually in Nigeria, and 46 million annually worldwide. High fertility rate in the face of dwindling and mismanaged resources has created poverty. Many authors have raised the alarm that a stage would reach in the world when food supply would match its population growth the issue of population growth and consequently food shortage is overwhelming. This expansive population growth has been attributed to some factors major of it is low contraceptive usage.
According to United Nations report on population, Nigeria has been projected to be 3 most populous country in the world by 2050. Nigeria is already facing population explosion in the resulting effect that food production cannot match, leaving many unemployed and creating poverty. Nigeria with a high fertility rate lag in several developments indicators, in their rate of achievements for example the millennium development goal (MDGs). Assessing the casual impact of high fertility is endogenous. Some of the implication of high fertility rate will result in;
Maternal Health Risk- the risk of maternal death is high. However, a control in fertility will reduce the life time risk of maternal death by reducing the average number of pregnancy each woman undergoes.
Child Education- children from larger family attain less education.
Child Health- the risk of child mortality in infancy and early childhood is high.
Economy Growth- A drop in fertility raises productivity. It has been estimated that in Nigeria a reduction in fertility by one child per woman would lead to 13% increase in GDP per capital within 20 years.
Despite the socio economy importance of family planning and contraception, Nigeria is still lagging behind. The importance of family planning cannot be over emphasized; basically it is a tool for reducing unemployment, poverty and a key factor in improving the economic growth of a country.
In other to achieve an accelerated growth in the present Nigeria economy there must be a fertility decline. Demographic dividend is a means of eradicating poverty, unemployment and achieves socio economic growth. Fertility decline is a means of achieving a demographic dividend, with the effect of boosting economic growth and contributing to the overall well-being of families and societies.