Chiamaka Ojiego, 30 years old, Gombe State, Nigeria
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Chiamaka Ojiegbo. I am married, and we are five in number, me and my husband and three kids, two boys and one girl. This is the 9th year of my marriage, my first son should be 8 years by June, my first daughter should be 6 years by July and my last baby should be 3 years by June.
Was family planning a topic that was discussed when you were growing up?
Hmmmm, no, I got to know about family planning when I got married, you know when you get married then you must know.
How Important do you think family planning is to you and your community?
The basic importance is it helps you to prevent yourself from unwanted pregnancy. Secondly, it helps in improving the economy, the Country. It prevents unwanted pregnancy and helps us space between the children and makes you have time for your husband. My husband enjoys family planning because he’s scared of unwanted pregnancy, so family planning is very important in marriage.
Family planning is very important to the community. When you look at economic challenges we are facing now, you know that every family needs to engage in family planning. When I talk about every family, I am not talking about just the young couples, I mean every family. This will help in equitable distribution of resources. For me, I have three kids and if others would have few children as my family, the community will realize that it’s easier to manage its meager resources better.
What does family planning mean for your life?
It means a lot. It gives me time. With family planning even though you want to go for another baby but when you engage in family planning, the gap between the first and the second is guaranteed. But without family planning, there will not be that age gap. With family planning, unwanted pregnancies are prevented and have time to take care of the one that you have. It also helps one manages the little resources. Without family planning, maybe by now I will have five kids. Check the level of school fees for that. But when I do this family planning, I benefit a lot because I can take care of the ones that God has blessed me with. Family planning means a lot not only to me but to every woman and every family.
What kind of progress would you like to see in the area of family planning?
I would love to see this family planning program go on and on, because there are so many people that don’t know about it. The most important thing is let this family planning be free for women because there is a high level of poverty, so some people may not afford it.
Do you have a message or statement you would like to make for other women?
My message to all women out there is let them plan their families because this will help their marriages. Even though we believe God provides for every family, it is said heaven helps those who help themselves. The way to help yourself is to use modern family planning method. It prevents unwanted pregnancies and abortions among both married couples and the singles.
Women should make decisions about family planning and educate other women about the huge benefits in family planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so we the women should try our best to space our children and not fear the side effects that we hear from others as it affects only a few users, and the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. When I started family planning, I tried various methods. I think I am on my third one now and it works for me. My last baby is three years old, so I believe that family planning is important to every woman.