Nigeria’s minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, has said one per cent of the health budget at all levels of the government will be allocated to family planning (FP).
The decision, the minister noted, is part of efforts to reduce the mother and child death rate in the country.
Mr Ehanire disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday while launching Reproductive, Maternal Newborn, Child, Adolescent and Elderly Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) policy document and re-Inauguration of the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) steering committee.
It was in commemoration of 2022 Safe Motherhood and Vasicovigina Fiscula (VVF) Day.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Health in partnership with Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health, and German Cooperation.
“The federal government of Nigeria is working to ensure availability of family planning commodities and services by launching the FP2030 commitment to increase domestic funding and sustainable financing through earmarking one per cent of the health budget at federal and state levels and perhaps also at local government level,” the minister said.
Also, he said there are other actions taken by the government to ensure that everybody aligns with the initiative.
Mr Ehanire said the strategy allows eligible citizens including adolescents, young people and vulnerable populations to make informed choices and get equitable, affordable access to quality family planning participation in national development.
“Maternal and parental death surveillance and response is a priority initiative that gives the serious subject of maternal, parental and infant mortality and morbidity audit the attention it requires,” he added.
FP in Nigeria
Family planning in Nigeria is at a low level which is a major factor in the fertility pattern and population growth rate.
Despite several efforts in the last few years, the modern contraceptive prevalence rate is about 12 per cent, indicating the need for adoption of more innovative strategies and channels of service delivery.
“The private sector channels have proven to be viable as data indicates the sector provides about 60 percent of FP services even among the poorest women in Nigeria (provide reference),” the Nigeria FB 2030 commitment document said.
The NPHCDA Health Facility Assessment 2019, said there are only 8,389 functional primary health care facilities out of the 25,607.
The figure is grossly inadequate and cannot meet the needs of all women of reproductive age in Nigeria.
“Hence there is a need to employ high impact strategies to rapidly scale-up the provision of FP service,” the document said.
The minister said the initiative has been expanded to also incorporate child mortality audits making it Maternal, Natal and Child Death Surveillance and Response. The enabling bill has been passed by the National Assembly and is awaiting presidential assent.
The launch of the policy document
The minister said these developments are what informed the launch of the revised guidelines and tools from NPCDSR at the inauguration of the steering committee.
The committee is to be chaired by the honourable minister of health, while the president of the society of gynaecology and obstetrics and the president of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) will be vice chairs.
Other members of the committee are the chairmen of both the senate and senate committees on health, commissioners of health of RNMCAEH+N and states, among others.
“Parastatals and ministries like the NPHCDA, and the National Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission, National Centre for Disease Control and National Health Insurance Agency, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the National Orientation Agency, are all there,” he said.
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