By Chioma Umeha
The Ogun State Government has vowed to intensify efforts on policies and programmes that would enhance family planning services to further reduce the maternal and child mortality rate in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye made this known while playing host to the team from Pathfinder International, Nigeria and Executive of Advocacy Working Group (AWG), in his office, Abeokuta, Ogun state Capital
Dr. Ipaye in a statement made available by the Media Officer of the Advocacy Group, Mrs. Waliyat Odemakin, said all aspects of reproductive health including access to quality family planning had been incorporated in the ‘Araya’ Health Insurance Scheme which was made free for pregnant women and children under five years in the state.
The Commissioner assured that necessary process required for the operationalization of the National Task shifting / sharing policy in the state would be fast-tracked to address the challenges of lack of skilled health personnel and equitable distribution of qualified health care workers to health facilities for efficient service delivery.
“Though fund spent on family planning services are inadequate but the state government will gear more efforts to ensure that we promote policies and programmes on family planning to improve maternal and child health care in the state”.
That is more reason why the state government had incorporated access to free family planning services, Ante-natal, post Natal care for the pregnant mothers and under five children to benefit maximally from the “Araya” health insurance scheme”. Ipaye said.
The Commissioner who noted that his ministry would consistently monitor the activities of private health facilities on family planning services against quackery, saying government would not hesitate to sanction erring health worker found guilty of sabotaging state government efforts on its efficient health care delivery cardinal programme.
In his remark, the Associate Director, Pathfinder International, Nigeria, Dr. Habeeb Salami, said the organisation was passionate to strengthening and sustaining advocacy activities at ensuring uptake and access to quality family planning services for the state to achieve the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) target of 52.4% by 2018.
Contributing, the chairman, AWG, Ogun State Chapter, Mrs. Kemi Balogun said the group came on board to drive the implementation of family planning activities with the view of changing the landscape of family planning in the state.
“This group is concerned on the rate at which our women and children are dying as a result of pregnancy related complications which can be prevented by uptake and access to family planning services and we have put in place advocacy strategies to assist government, relevant stakeholders and the people at improving the well being of women, children and the family are also in places.” Balogun stated.