Bauchi — Only 2.1 per cent of married women in Bauchi State are using a modern method of contraceptive, which is lower than the national rate of 10 per cent.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Country Director of Health Policy Plus, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr. Onoriode Ezire, who noted that because of the low practice of contraceptive in the state, the population of Bauchi is likely to reach 26 million by 2050 as against the present population of about five million.
He explained that that the fertility rate of the state stands at 8.1 births while most women in Bauchi have more than four children.
He said if the rate is reduced to around four births per woman over the next twenty years and then reaching three births per woman by 2050, the state would save N235 billion needed to trained more than 700 medical doctors that would be required for the growing population.
Ezire, therefore, called on the state government to increase access to family planning information, services, and methods. He further urged decision makers in the state with the collaboration of non-governmental organisations to educate the public on child spacing in order to save the lives of expectant mothers and babies.
In his remarks, Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, said his administration has given attention to health issues "by allocating a lion share of 15 per cent from the annual budget of the state to health and we are ready to collaborate with development partners to achieve this administration's objectives on the health sector."