As Nigeria commemorates this year’s World Contraception Day, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called for adequate funding and prioritisation of family planning in the country.
The CSOs made the call during the inaugural meeting of champions and advocacy CSOs calling for adequate funding and prioritisation of family planning in Nigeria, organised by the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale (PACFaH@Scale), in Abuja.
Recall that the Nigerian government committed to a 27 per cent modern contraceptive prevalence by 2020, however, only 12 per cent have been achieved to date.
The CSOs have linked the key reason for not meeting this national target to inadequacy of family planning ﬁnancing.
In a statement read by the FP2030 CSO Focal Person in Nigeria, Dr Ejike Oji, during the meeting, the CSOs noted that “Year after year, the Federal and State governments allocate funds in annual budgets for contraceptive procurement; logistics; provider training; and for service provider task shifting and sharing. Year after year, funds allocated are either not released, released late, or not in alignment with Costed Implementation Plans.
“If the government increases funding at all tiers, timely release and accountably use these funds, we will begin to reap the dividends of demography,” they said.
They also called for investment in adolescence health to promote quality reproductive health among the youth population in the country, saying family planning is everyone’s responsibility, hence, re-education on family planning is key.
“As CSOs in Nigeria, we are committed to improving child and family health in Nigeria. We believe that access to modern contraceptives gives families a chance to practice healthy timing between births; reduces the risk to the mother; contributes to the survival of living children; and the health of the nation.
“Child spacing will increase economic participation of women, mother lives, child survives. If we do not plan for the future, we would have a place on the table of the future. Family planning is the most important tool to deliberately plan for the future, if we want a prosperous one.
“As CSOs in Nigeria, today with one voice, we call on the government of Nigeria to prioritise family planning on its agenda to reap the dividends of demography and to release the 2021 budgetary allocation for family planning while applying the same results-based management approaches used in the COVID-19 ﬁght to family planning programming in Nigeria,” the CSOs stressed.