By Royal Ibeh,
Nigeria requires $252 million to holistically address the gaps in the provision of high-quality family planning services to Nigerians of reproductive age, said the director, reproductive health, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Dr Kayode Afolabi.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian government developed the family planning blueprint for 2020 to 2024. The blueprint identified low demand and high unmet need for modern family planning, limited access to modern family planning methods due to poor coverage of family planning facilities, limited trained healthcare workers and services as the challenges that have marred the scaling-up of family planning services in Nigeria.
Other challenges as highlighted in the blueprint are commodity stock outs due to unavailability or poor quality of actual consumption data to determine the true commodity need, poorly implemented annual supply plans, irregular last mile distribution, poor warehousing conditions at state level, inadequate enabling policy environment for family planning, inadequate domestic funding for family planning activities and inadequate use of data for decision making.
To tackle these challenges, Afolabi, at the online media training for health reporters, organised by Rotary International in collaboration with the FMOH, Nigeria, said it will cost a total of $252million, with the procurement and supply chain management gulfing $125.7 million.
“$3.5 million is needed to create demand for family planning services, $97.7 million for service delivery, $1.2 million for policy advocacy, $11.7 million for finance and $12.2 for supervision, monitoring and co-ordination,” Afolabi added.
He said the revised national family planning blueprint for 2020 to 2023 provides guidance for implementation of the activities across the key thematic areas to achieve the following strategic outcomes of ensuring effective implementation of the national family planning communication plan and expanding young persons’ access to information by leveraging new media.
Other key thematic areas are developing and rolling out national FP training plan, integrating family planning into primary healthcare center opportunities, strengthen strategy for introduction of new contraceptives and expand access to rights-based youth friendly FP services, engage federal and state governments to mobilize for procurement, warehousing and distribution of commodities.
Repositioning Adolescent, Young Sexual Reproductive Health (AYSRH) through revision of all policies and training manuals that restrict adolescent and youth from accessing a full range of FP methods, develop policy to increase indigenous private sector investment for family planning in Nigeria, advocate for policy implementation at state level, increase family planning financing through fulfilling the old and creating new financial commitments to family planning beyond 2020, improve accountability and tracking of family planning, improve the quality and performance of FP programs at sub-national and facility level and strengthen national structures for coordination of FP activities.
He said The the government of Nigeria is committed to ensuring sustainable financing for family planning to tackle the perpetual funding gap and reliance on external donors through mobilizing domestic funds and better accountability.
“Consistent advocacy by government and its partners in the civil society made the government commit to paying for all previous pledges and continue to pay until the end of the commitment period, the year 2020. The advocacy efforts have led to the renewal of $4 million of the current commitment for an annual basis.
The recent widening of the health fiscal space from implementation of the Health Act the new programs and better funding of the LGAs and facilities, have provided new opportunities to increase domestic funding for FP, said the director.
This also calls for a renewed vigour to ensure accountability and responsibility in expenditure, establishing mechanisms that enable sustainable domestic financing for FP, including leveraging private sector networks to deliver FP services, companies that have not traditionally been involved in health or FP nevertheless have a significant role to play.
While the Nigerian government is committed to embark on deliberate efforts to ensure sustainable financing for the National Family Planning program, Afolabi however called for more partnership and collaboration, adding that the government look forward to active participation in the FP 2030 Partnership and impactful collaboration beyond 2020.