7,395 women injected contraceptives to prevent pregnancies – Cross River govt

At least 7,395 young women are officially known to have been injected with self-injectable birth control methods in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies in parts of Cross River State.
The director of the family planning programme in the state ministry of health, Mrs. Lucy Bassey Enakirerhi, confirmed this figure at an event organised in collaboration with the Society for Family Health and Children’s Investments Fund Foundation in Calabar to officially wind down a 2-year Empathetic Counseling for Self-Injection project in the state.
She said this figure is only from January to April of 2024, adding that the acceptance of the project by women has been very encouraging.
Enakirerhi said more than half of the figure preferred to self-inject, while others did so at the primary healthcare centres, adding that within the two years, women were enthusiastic, which was the reason the state achieved 66% success.
She added that one dose of the injectable contraceptives can last for six months before the next dosage.
Some of the beneficiaries, including Mrs. Eunice Effiom and Patricia Etekamba, both from Akpabuyo LGA, testified about the effectiveness and convenience of the contraceptives.
A senior advisor at the Society for Family Health, Dr. Seun Adeleke, said the project provided convenience for women to exercise their rights to reproductive health.
He said that at inception, it was 21% acceptance, but that the number of women who chose to self-inject grew to 66% later.
He said the project aimed to empower women to take charge of their sexual and reproductive health through self-care methods according to a woman’s preference.
He said women should have access to a contraceptive method that suits their health, lifestyle, and goals.
Representing the commissioner for health, Dr. Henry Ayuk, and the director for public health, Dr. Jonah Offor, said that contraceptives were free at their primary healthcare facilities.
He said the government would continue where the health partners have stopped by increasing from the five LGAs to many other LGAs.