The Chairman of Chidicon Medical Research Centre, Owerri, Imo state, Prof Philip Njemanze, has warned against the mass use of contraceptives as a means of population control, adding that it was harmful to the health of women.
Njemanze, who is also an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics, the UNESCO body for Space Research.
He said that instead of the use of contraceptives, Natural Family Planning should be adopted in schools and public establishments.
Njemanze, who is a neurologist, said that the Population Policy was ill-conceived to implement population control with contraceptives, adding that “estrogen derivatives are the main active ingredients that cause cancer, blood clots leading to heart attacks, strokes and deep venous thrombosis.
“They will kill the unborn Nigerian immediately and the mother dies agonisingly slowly. This will result in every rising Maternal Mortality Rate in Nigeria.
“The MMR in Nigeria is 814 per 100,000 live births. This rate could quadruple with the mass use of contraception in Nigeria. The global MMR was 152 deaths per 100,000 live births much lower than in Nigeria.”
He added, “This population policy is the greatest threat to the health of Nigerian women. This could be prevented by implementing Natural Family Planning which is more effective and has no debilitating health effects.”
On the overall population control policy, Njemanze said the strategy was not evidence-based.
“Outright, the reduction in population is counterproductive to economic development. Population is the main engine driving economic growth worldwide. The most important index is population density.
“Nigeria in 2023 was at 240 persons be sq Km. This is considered below the threshold for real economic development. In contrast, Singapore is at 8000 persons per square Km, Hong Kong is at 6690 persons per square km. In Lagos, we have a population density of 6,871 persons per square km which accounts for 26.7% of Nigeria’s total GDP and more than 50% of non-oil GDP.
“So if we could replicate Lagos in the other six geopolitical zones by population density we could transform into a G20 economy in less than 10 years. We can only get there through population growth, not depopulation. The attempt by detractors of Nigeria to stem the tide of population growth has become urgent because Nigeria is approaching the critical 300 people per square kilometre threshold for economic transformation.
“We must ignore this push and actively promote population growth through social justice system of equity of opportunity. We must invest in people through health and education. We must fight corruption that rubs us of development and the future of our youth.”