It is said that having children could be the easiest adventure, but taking care of them is indeed a challenging and demanding role. In other words, it is very easy to be a parent, but a huge responsibility to be a dad or mum.
Recent statistics have shown that the world population is dangerously exploding to the extent that in the year 2050, the world population will have recorded about 2.2 billion more people. That would mean about 9.8 billion people in the next 32 years. From this alarming figure, it is expected that Africa’s population of 1.2 billion will increase to 1.3 billion in 2050 – an astronomical 60% increase. That is not the only worrisome challenge facing the world. The increase in population comes with a rise in unintended children and abortion. From the estimated 80 million unintended pregnancies, which take place globally, 42 million of the unwanted pregnancies end in abortion. It is not the intention of the writer to dabble into the abortion date. There are enough arguments to support or denounce abortion, however, the question is, regardless one’s view on abortion, is it worth the trouble to create unnecessary challenges and hardship in your life in the name of incubating many kids you cannot adequately take care of?
Yes, we all know those cultural expectations and religious beliefs that encourage having many children, but no one will deny the raw fact that those children come with enormous responsibilities. From school fees, medical treatments, food, shelter, clothes, and other challenges that come with having many children, one cannot adequately take care of, having many children can be suicidal if you have a miserable income or incapable to take proper care of them. But that is not all. Logically, having many children means billions of individuals chasing few available resources. This is a simple, but sound economic reality. The more the demand, the less the supply. Presently, due to the climate change menace, the world is facing serious social problems coupled with a shortage of water scarcity, food shortage, health care, drought, sanitary, education. More than ever, immigration has become an everyday reality. Millions of individuals are forced by both natural and man-made factors to move from their domain and seek a better life elsewhere. Worse still, war and other political instabilities have added more problems to the existing social challenges. These economic, social and political mayhem has called for sound thinking. Yes, a rational thinking that denounces or replaces unproductive cultural beliefs and men’s chauvinism with a more productive thinking.
Where do we go from here? An urgent need for family planning is inevitable. With few children, they want couples can easily fulfill the educational and other social needs of their children. Doing so helps the couples to effectively save and therefore can invest better in the social services for their children. With fewer kids in class, the teacher can take better care of the pupils in their classes, and thereby deliver quality education. Interestingly, recent research works have constantly shown that children from family planning homes perform much better in school. Are these obvious advantages not enough for both individuals and various governmental organisations to pay a serious attention to family planning?
Apart from family planning, the danger of the STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) is menacing. From HIV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis, genital herpes, chlamydia, genital warts, trichomoniasis, STDs are some of the most common contagious diseases globally with long-term consequences. In the US alone, not less than 65 million people have an incurable STD and more than 20 million new cases are reported each year. While some STDs can be cured, others such as HIV, are incurable as well as deadly. Isn’t it the right time to take urgent measure to prevent these dangerous and costly problems?
Common sense tells you that spending a few cents on condoms can save you millions of dollars on the challenges that come with having many children one cannot take good care of. More than that, using a condom helps us prevent those STDs and the financial, economic consequences that come with the diseases. Furthermore, unnecessary deaths are prevented. The burden of a family planning must not be a female alone. No, we must radically and quickly change that mindset and know that for a successful family planning to take place, the male partner must be involved too. Discuss and decide carefully with your male partner when and how many children you want to have, and how to take adequate care of them. The myopic belief that “God brings kids” must be replaced with a sound sensible family planning method. But for effective results, coupled with long-term benefits, the government must be involved. From educating the public on the need for family planning to financial support to stimulate the campaign and achieve results, both the government and individuals must work together towards a common goal. This is the time to act urgently before it is too late. Remember: we hold the future and destiny of our children in our hands.
Family Planning in Africa and Men’s Chauvinism