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‘Poor funding, non-domestication of policies impede family planning target’

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
24 October 2021   |   3:23 am
Poor budgetary allocations and refusal of many state governments to domesticate existing policies are disrupting the adoption of family planning in Nigeria, Pathfinder International, a Non-govermental Organisation has said.

Family planning

Poor budgetary allocations and refusal of many state governments to domesticate existing policies are disrupting the adoption of family planning in Nigeria, Pathfinder International, a Non-govermental Organisation has said. 

The Federal Government, in collaboration with partners and private sector stakeholders, had in 2012, pledged to achieve a Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (MCPR) of 27 per cent in Nigeria among all women by 2020. 

But the FP target indicators by 2020 showed that Nigeria only achieved 12 per cent MCPR, forcing the timeline to be shifted to 2030. 

Speaking at the sideline of a three-day workshop organised for journalists on increasing media advocacy for FP in Lafia, programme coordinator, Pathfinder International, Hauwa Usman, observed that Nigeria did not do enough to ensure attainment of its family planning 2020 goal. 

The workshop was aimed at strengthening journalists’ capacity in digital journalism, to improve advocacy for Advanced Family Planning (AFP)  

She regretted government’s failure to meet its $4m yearly counterpart funding commitment initially approved for procurement of contraceptives for a period spanning 2017 to 2020. 

According to Usman, there are many policies at the subnational level that support family planning, and that many state governments had not made the policies operational. 

She said: “We have the National Task Shifting and Sharing Policy formulated in 2014, but it was revised in 2018 to allow more leeway. The policy attempted to reduce the burden on the human resources for health, by allowing those health workers on a lower cadre to offer services legally. By domesticating these policies, states can improve access to the services for clients. So, if such policies are not domesticated, we won’t have the legal backup to do so.”

Usman stressed that family planning is the most cost effective way to reduce maternal mortality. 

“When we say family planning, we are not saying people should not have children or limit the number of children. What we are saying is having the opportunity to voluntarily space out children. That people should not risk having pregnancy few months after childbirth…”

She said the organisation in collaboration with stakeholders was working to achieve government’s family planning 2030 agenda.  

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