Family Planning: AAFP rallies stakeholders towards  achieving 2020 goals

Family Planning: AAFP rallies stakeholders towards achieving 2020 goals

Dr. Ejike Oji

ABUJA – The Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), has said it would ensure Nigeria makes significant contributions to global push in helping additional 120 women of reproductive age access family planning services by 2020.

At a meeting to galvanize support from stakeholders on the new global 2020 family planning drive (otherwise known as FP 2020) in Abuja recently, Chairman of the organization, Dr. Ejike Oji said all ministries of government and relevant stakeholders were being reminded on the need to fulfill the commitments they had made to the realization of the country’s pledge at the 2012 and 2017 London Family Planning Summits.

Speaking with Nigerian Health Online at the meeting, Ejike noted that civil society organizations in Nigeria, which he represents as Focal Person, were also working to ensure that the ambitions are realized.

He said: “This meeting is basically to galvanize support from all the departments and agencies and ministries of government to restate the commitment they made at the London Summit of last year. There was original Summit, that was in 2012, where a lot of commitments were made. Nigeria rebased her commitment and also made some more commitments in July last year, which was like a review meeting of previous one.

“Everybody feels that family planning is Federal Ministry of Health. The truth of the matter is that there are other departments that are key, like Budget and Planning ministry, Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Women Affairs. They on their own made several commitments towards making sure that Nigeria meets FP 2020 goals.

“By 2020, our modern contraceptive rate should be about 27 percent. So, this meeting is galvanizing stakeholders to come to a breakfast meeting we are going to call in the future with the Federal Ministry of Health. At this breakfast meeting, we are going to see the Ministers of these ministries, because they are the highest policy-making persons. Within that ambit, they will be able to know what their commitments are, that everybody will not be looking at the Federal Ministry of Health all the time.

“When they now see their commitments, they will be able to galvanize support for that. On the part of the CSOs, when the FP2020 initiative was put together, we also created what we call Focal Points. These focal points are people who have a stake in different government, who are supposed to be the implementers and drivers of FP 2020 initiative.”

He noted that after they elected their representative, on the directive of the FP2020 global team, the civil societies focus on issues such as ensuring adequate budgeting is put in place, adequate mechanism for  financing family planning, issue of accountability, mobilizing women and stakeholders to support government on what is going in-country are taken seriously.

Director, Reproductive Health at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Kayode Afolabi, said at the meeting that government was committed to meeting the country’s target on family. He said the Nigerian government raised its commitment from initial $3 to $4 to further restate its seriousness to family planning.

Similarly, Director of Family Health in the ministry, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, said government was engaging more stakeholders, especially the states governments to boost family planning agenda of the country. She said adequate plans were being made to work with private organizations and individuals that are interesting in making contributions to promoting family planning programmes in the country.

Nigeria, in collaboration with its partners and private sector in July 2017 had pledged to achieve a modern contraceptive rate of 27% among all women by 2020.

It committed to increasing its annual allocation for contraceptives to $4 million; ensuring total disbursement of $56 million to the states through its Global Financing Facility and IDA loans; expanding implementation of its task-shifting policy to include patent medicine vendors and community resource individuals to improve access to family planning services in difficult-to-reach areas among disadvantaged populations; using its Minimal Initial Service Package for SRH, especially for its national preparedness and response where humanitarian crises occur; removing regulatory barriers and taking to scale access to new contraceptive methods such as sub-cutaneous DMPA injections.

Others are transforming its last-mile distribution of health/FP commodities, using a push-model method system, and collaborating with the private sector for optimal transportation, haulage and tracking of commodities using its electronic logistics management solution; investing in a robust accountability system that tracks and reports annually real-time, domestic resource FP expenditures at national and state levels; increasing the number of health facilities providing FP services in each of its states and federal territory to 20000; leveraging 10,000-functional primary health care facilities to foster positive attitudes about planning families.

The commitments include partnering with all stakeholders and gatekeepers to reduce socio-cultural barriers to use of family planning services; collaborating with line ministries to ensure the provision of age appropriate SRH information to youth through the family life; health education curriculum and youth-friendly services in health facilities and other outlets; and collaborating with states, donors, and other stakeholders on a health insurance scheme to make household FP expenditures reimbursable.

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