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NURHI wants better funding for family planning


familiesIn line with the change mantra of the current administration, the Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) has urged the Federal Government to ensure proper funding of the national family planning programme in the country.

The programme, which aims to create adequate supply for modern methods of family planning demands nationwide, was practically abandoned and left to international donors during the previous administration.

Meanwhile, NURHI has unveiled the duo of Tiwa Savage and Paul Okoye of the P. Square fame, as national Ambassadors for their ‘Get it together’ 2016 campaign.

At the regional level, Nolloywood actors like: Mike Ezuruonye, Odunlade Adekola and Ali Nuhu, and comedian, Godwin Komone popularly known as Gordons will act as ambassadors in the South -East, South-West, North and South- South of the country in that order.

The Project Director of NURHI, Dr. Mojisola Odeku noted that the programme was facing many challenges in the country because of lack of funding from the government.

Odeku said that NURHI, a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on very poor population in the city slums, but would have been more effective if the government gives adequate support to the programme.

According to her, ”Historically, the Federal Government of Nigeria has been supportive of the national family planning programme by the adoption of appropriate policies, however, financial investment in family planning has been very low.

“At the NURHI project inception, there was no budget line for family planning and policy actions in support of family planning was almost nil, resulting in low stock of commodities, inadequate skill staff, poor dilapidated facilities and un conducive environment for quality family planning services.

“The resultant low turnout of women for family planning services was a big challenge. The socio-cultural environment was filled with suspicion and misinformation about family planning and high level of myths and misconceptions,” she said.

As a way out of the numerous challenges, Odeku said the agency has adopted an entertainment education approach to propagate importance of family planning to overall development of the society by appointing the popular musicians, comedians and Nollywood actors as its ambassadors.

The NURHI boss explained that its programme tagged ‘Get it Together’ is aimed at breaking the barriers that act as impediment to the use of contraceptives.

“NURHI 11 project envisions a Nigeria where supply and demand barrier to contraceptive use are eliminated and family planning becomes a social norm.

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