The low rate of adoption of family planning has long been a bone of contention in Nigeria and especially resisted in Western Nigeria. Despite huge sums of monies expended in order to enlighten the populace on the need for family planning, the use and access of family planning services has remained relatively low. This apathy by the populace is not unconnected to the fact that the promotion that were used have not answered nor conformed to the people’s cultural and religious beliefs. Furthermore, the people’s opinions were not sought. The method of the flow of communication was one-dimensional: top to bottom. This study therefore sought to review mass media’s promotion with the view to assess the success and or otherwise of the promotion and also bring to the fore the need for participatory communication that can lead to sustainable development. One of the findings of this research was the need for intensified participatory promotion and not only the use of media as means of communication. This is because, the fear of side effects of modern family planning methods, the need to nurture children and cultural and religious biases are still barriers to accessing modern family planning methods. Thus there is a need for an unconventional approach to attaining sustainable development.
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Reproductive freedom is critical to a whole range of issues. If we cannot take charge of this most personal aspect of our lives, we cannot take care of anything. It should not be seen as a privilege or as a benefit, but a fundamental human right (F. Wattleton, 2011:6).
The term development has over the years evolved to mean different things to different individuals and groups. While some view development as economic growth or rise in Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), others view it as a comprehensive growth or rise in an individual’s life resulting in a total well being of aperson’s life. (Ideas for Development 2005:186).
In trying to increase the total well being of an individual, it has been deduced that reproductive health is a fundamental aspect of one’s well being. This is because it is linked to ones emotional and physical needs. According to the Reproductive Health Journal, reproductive health is defined „as a state of physical, mental, and social well-being in all matters relating to
the reproductive system at all stages of life. (http://www.reproductive-healthjournal.com/about/faq/whatis). Having good reproductive health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.
With the high rate of maternal and child mortality, high poverty rate, death from Malaria and Human Immuno Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), many conferences have been held to debate andproffer solutions to such problems. The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 1994 which had a Programme of Action aimed at empowering women and providing them with more choices through expanded access to education and health services, skill development and employment. The ICPD also aimed to empower women through ensuring that they were fully involved in policy- and decision-making processes at all levels. One of the primary goals of the Programme of Action was to make family planning universally available by 2015 as part of a broadened approach to reproductive health and rights. It also addresses issues pertaining to population and includes goals to further reduce levels of infant, child and maternal mortality. This is because population, maternal child health and mortality are all dependent on Sexual Reproductive Health.