Over a four-year period, new research suggests, a program led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in six large Nigerian cities was associated with a 10 percentage-point increase in the use of modern contraceptive methods and a similar increase in the desire of women to have fewer children.
In clinics, on television programs, in brochures, the message of the CCP program was the same: Know, Talk, Go. Know the facts. Talk to your partner. Go for services.
The successes come in a nation where low use of family planning has long been a seemingly intractable problem. Higher rates of maternal and infant deaths are linked to lower use of modern contraception to space or limit the births of children. And Nigeria has some of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the world.
For the study, published online in the journal Studies in Family Planning, researchers from the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill evaluated CCP’s Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), a six-city program that ran from 2010 until 2014. CCP is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. NURHI is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.