Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Access to Reproductive Health Services among Childbearing Women in Ogun State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Access to Reproductive Health Services among Childbearing Women in Ogun State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Background

Globally, people in good reproductive health both in developed and developing countries are not only able to have a satisfying and safe sex life but also to have the ability to reproduce and the freedom to decide conditionally how and when to do so (UNHCR, 2016).

Reproductive health services are a crucial and integral part of the general health services and a pointer to human development. This aspect of health is of international concern but keenly focused on women particularly within the reproductive years. The health of women is significantly referred as a human right issue and fundamental hold for progress even in low-income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has it on record that approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries (WHO 2016) which explains for the kind of health services assessable to them. The Access to quality reproductive health services and the services of adequate emergency obstetric care will lead to the reduction in the rate at which women die during and after childbirth and to ensure mothers and the children enjoy a sound health (UNFPA, 2008). Epidemiological data of diverse constituencies reveals that reproductive health intervention is most likely to include attention to the issues of family planning, the management, and prevention of perinatal and maternal mortality and issues of morbidity. Other aspects of pressing concerns include issues such as unwanted pregnancy, abortion, reproductive infections including sexually transmitted diseases (Myer Harrison, 2003). Adequate reproductive health services is a reflection of proper health during childhood which is also crucial during adolescence up to adulthood, in a long run its serve as a benchmark to set the stage for measuring health beyond the reproductive years for women even men (as part of the reproductive process). Going from the prime, it is clear that the health of the newborn is largely a function of the mother's health status and her access to health care. In developing countries, it is estimated that 15 million women suffer long-term, chronic illness and disability yearly due to the lack of proper care during reproduction; in fact, cases of pregnancy and childbirth have been recognized as health risks for childbearing women (UNFPA, 2012).

On a macro-level, maternal death, and subsequent child death is related to a loss of productivity which leads to an estimated global economic loss of about US$ 15 billion (USAID, 2001). Hence, maternal health also has developmental consequences beyond its more obvious health ones. This was acknowledged by world leaders at the Millennium Summit in the year 2000, which resulted in the inclusion of it as the fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG). MDG 5 focuses on improving maternal health and initially had one target which is to reduce maternal mortality ratio by one-quarter by the end of 2015. The realization that availability of and accessibility to satisfactory reproductive healthcare provision leads to improvements in maternal health, led to the introduction of a second target - to achieve a universal access to reproductive health in 2015 (Hauwa, 2011). The Sustainable Development Goal target 3.7 also focuses on the universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services achievable by 2030 (UNDESA, 2015).

In Sub-Saharan Africa, maternal mortality which has been over time as a consequence of inadequate reproductive health services is a marker of vast disparities. A woman who gives birth is 300 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications or childbirth compared to her counter- part living in a developed country (WHO 2007a). Still, within the confluence of discourse, certain generalization has been assumed to be militating against the access of women use of reproductive health services. One of such claim is that in many SubSaharan countries women have poor education and 2/3 of illiterate adults are women. …

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