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Family Planning: Harness Private Providers, To Reach Public Health Goals, LASG Urged

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Unless the Lagos state government harnesses the potentials of the private sector providers, family planning experts have said the state cannot reach public health goals. One of such goals, according to them is achieving the Family Planning (FP2020) goal before the set time.

It would be recalled that in line with the FP2020 goal, the federal government of Nigeria set a target to increase its CPR from 15 per cent to 27 per cent by 2020.

To achieve the 27 per cent target, state governments also gave themselves target and Lagos state made a commitment to increasing its CPR to 74 per cent by 2020.

Team Leader, Post Pregnancy Family Planning (PPFP) Project, Dr. Taiwo Johnson, at a media round table in Lagos state, said private clinics are the preferred choice of about 65 per cent of women living in Lagos state.

Johnson said 60.9 per cent of women in the state also attend antenatal care in private hospitals. She said, “More women in Lagos state attend and deliver in the private sector. They maintain high quality of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services because of minimal waiting time, convenient hours and location of the hospitals.”

The team leader said the private sector is increasing being recognized as a vital partner in the global efforts to provide reproductive health and family planning services and commodities.

“Unless the Lagos state government harnesses the potentials of the private sector providers, they can’t attain public health goals and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3),” she added.

Johnson said private clinics would help to scale up the use of family planning services, especially among women who do not want to get pregnant immediately after giving birth.

She said the World Health Organisation, (WHO) Technical Consultation and Scientific Review of Birth Spacing recommends an interval of at least 24 months after a live birth before attempting the next pregnancy.

Speaking on the PPFP in Lagos state, Johnson said since 60.9 per cent of women attend antenatal care in private clinics, there is need for the state government to harness private hospitals in reaching women and couples with family planning messages around and after the time of birth, adding that this will save lives by promoting healthy spacing of pregnancies.

The Senior Programme Officer, Advocacy, Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) 2, Mr. Wale Haastrup said the private sector has a lot to do with ensuring that family planning gets to every nook and cranny especially in Lagos State and the state needs to be able to talk about the dynamics with regards to the involvement of the private sector.

He said, “Lagos State has made a huge decision and they have decided to review that decision while ensuring that by 2020 they have 74 percent CPR and for them to achieve this, they know that they would involve the private sector.”

He however urged the media to drive this goal in order to reduce maternal and child mortality and as well improve the quality of life of women.

 


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