By Hassan Zaggi
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, has stressed the need for family planning, noting that it promotes the survival of mothers and children.
Mamora stated this during the media launch of the National Family Planning Campaign by the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH), in Abuja, Thursday.
He, therefore, called on the federal, states and local governments to increase investment in family planning services, most importantly, the procurement of contraceptives.
The Minister called on men in the country to embrace family planning, insisting that for the country to achieve a 27 percent modern contraceptive prevalence rate by 2024, both men and women and indeed, all members of the community must be involved.
According to him: “Family planning is an important intervention for promoting proper timing and spacing of pregnancies, as well as assisting to achieve pregnancies where challenges exist.
“It also promotes maternal and child survival with a potential for reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity by 30 per cent.
“In addition, a successful implementation is key to achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The Federal Ministry of Health has been collaborating with development partners to build synergy towards provision of quality family planning information services for the purposes of prevention of unintended pregnancies, as well as for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS.”
He revealed that as part of efforts to provide a roadmap for family planning implementation and proper coordination, the Federal Ministry of Health has revised the Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint (Scale Up Plan 2020-2024), which was developed in 2014 as a follow up to the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, to provide guidance for stakeholders for implementation of family planning in Nigeria.
Mamora noted that: “The Federal Ministry of Health is in the process of introducing and/or scaling up new family planning commodities to expand Nigeria’s Method Mix to allow for free choice.
“The Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Subcutaneous Injection (DMPA-SC), which has been formulated to allow for self-injection. This is considered a game-changer in Nigeria’s Family Planning Landscape.
“In hard-to-reach areas, clients could be given some vials to take home after some training on its use. The Federal Ministry of Health is also in the process of finalising modalities for the inclusion of Hormonal Intrauterine Device in Nigeria’s public health system.”
His Ministry, the Minister said, is almost concluding the National Guidelines for State Funded Procurement of Contraceptive Commodities to bridge the gaps in family planning financing.
“Efforts are in top gear to finalize the National Private Sector Engagement Strategic Plan to comprehensively involve the private sector in family planning implementation to rapidly increase uptake.”
Speaking, the National Coordinator of the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH), Prof Emmanuel Lufadeju, revealed that only 15 percent of women in Nigeria are using modern contraceptives.
This is even as 90 percent of women know the relevance of family planning.
He called for more awareness in order to persuade women of child-bearing age to space their children in order to avoid having complications during pregnancies and child birth.