A new family planning logo to help sensitise Nigerians on family planning and where to get the services in the country was unveiled by the federal ministry of health on Monday.
The event was held in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, UNPFA, and other health development partners during the fifth annual family planning consultative stakeholders meeting at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
The theme of the meeting was “Investing in Family Planning, (the) key to achieving sustainable development goals in Nigeria.”
The new logo which is a “green dot” is meant to serve as a new means of family planning communication tool across the country.
The minister of health, Isaac Adewole said the government was taking family planning seriously as a means of reducing preventable maternal and child mortality in the country.
He said Nigeria had built family planning into its Economic Recovery and Growth Policy, ERGP and it is therefore critical to have an effective population management strategy.
“For Nigeria to reap dividends of demographic control, we need to put resources, invest in growing people with extension to women and child and in family planning,” he said
Mr. Adewole added that adopting family planning in an aggressive manner will eliminate maternal mortality to a very large extent in the country as the fertility rate will drop with the increasing access and use of modern contraceptive.
“The “green dot” will be displayed at all primary health centres across the country. This would serve as an indication of the availability of family planning products and services in the facility,” he explained.
The UNPFA Country representative in Nigeria, Diene Keita, said the agency will continue to support the nation as Nigeria has made a significant effort in the improvement of women and child health in Nigeria especially in the reduction of maternal and child mortality in the last few years.
Ms. Keita said Nigeria was one of the highest contributors to the burden of maternal and child death in the world and there was a need to reduce this by the introduction of family planning because most of the deaths are from unplanned pregnancy.
“110 Nigeria women die every day due to pregnancy preventable death, about one-third of these deaths can be avoided through having a choice to delay pregnancy. UNPFA is committed to helping the world including Nigeria to achieve a reduction,” she said.
Ms. Keita urged the government to push for sustainable policies, financial commitment and effective supply and distribution chain network that will enable the contraceptives to get to the women in the grassroots.
She also called for intensive education of caregivers and recipients especially men so that they can encourage the women to participate as that is the only way family planning in the country can be successful.
In a similar vein, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Lanre Tejuoso, commended the initiative of improving access to family planning services to all Nigerians.
He, however, urged the government to make the policy achievable by releasing all budgetary funds earmarked for the program to the ministry for early and appropriate interventions and implementation.
Mr Tejuoso said it was one thing for family planning to be budgeted and another for the executive to release all the funds budgeted and in a timely manner to ministries and agencies allocated to and for it to be used adequately.