Healthcare stakeholders have unanimously decried the lacklustre attitude of the Nigerian government towards funding the National family planning program, which results in poor accessibility and availability of the services to most Nigerians.
The stakeholders stated this during a coalition meeting for Civil Society Organisations and Media Partners organised by the [email protected] project in collaboration with the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, SOGON.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that scores of indigenous Civil Society Organisations and Media Partners gathered in Abuja for a 3-day brainstorming with a view to examining the Family Planning policies and Financing in Order to come up with a budget tracking tool for an improved service delivery.
Speaking with newsmen, the Project Director of [email protected] project, Dr. Habib Sadauki, lamented the low budgetary allocations to the family planning program in the country.
According to him, for the Family Planning services to become more accessible and available across the country, the government should look at the program holistically.
“There should be adequate funding and the funding should be released on time,” Mr Sadauki, who is also the Vice President of SOGON, stressed.
The Senior Technical Advisor of the development Research Projects Centre, dRPC, Dr. Emmanuel Abanida, who was so emotional in his remark during the question and answer session, lamented the country’s over-dependence on foreign aids and interventions on major national policies.
He said, “We should be ashamed for allowing ourselves to be taken over by donor agencies as a result of carelessness in our national policies.”
However, on his part, the head of Reproductive Health Division of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Kayode Afolabi, listed the various interventions by the federal government in collaboration with various development partners, towards the implementation of the family planning program.
Mr Afolabi pointed out that over one million additional women have so far adopted modern contraceptives since 2012, out of a total of 6.4 million women of family planning women users as at 2017.
“in a bid to address the challenges and fast-track the implementation of identified interventions, deliberate steps have been taken to ensure improved nationwide coordination of the family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) program by strengthening the National Reproductive Health Technical Working Group (NRHTWG) Meeting.
“In the NRHTWG Meetings, we have a forum attended by relevant stakeholders including government institutions at federal and state levels, partners, Non-Governmental Organisations as well as Civil Society Organisations and this has improved engagements, collaborations and collective actions towards greater results,” Mr Afolabi stated.
He, therefore, solicited the continuous support of the participating Civil Society Organisations in ensuring that the country’s family planning targets are met.
Mr Afolabi said: “While looking forward to many positive contributions from all the coalition members and other individuals and stakeholders through different interventions.
“I wish to assure the gathering that the Federal Ministry of Health will remain focused on providing leadership and creating an enabling environment for stakeholders to make positive contributions to the family planning scale-up effort.”