Family planning services received a boost recently, with the establishment of a new clinic, Okokomaiko Primary Health Centre, Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos, by Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI).
According to NURHI 2, the new clinic will improve health services at the family planning unit of Okokomaiko PHC which is one of the 50 selected including hospitals in the State under its “72-hour Family Planning Clinic Make-Over’’ Project.
The initiative is targeted toward reducing the high rate of maternal, infant and child mortality in Lagos State through the up-take of family planning, the organisation said.
Speaking to the INDEPENDENT at the clinic’s inauguration, Wale Haastrup, Senior Programme Officer, Advocacy, NURHI, Lagos State, said: “NURHI promotes the use of family planning in the communities where we work.
“For us to promote the use of family planning services, we have to upgrade these facilities to the basic standards that they should be.
“In so doing, the providers will be able to deliver optimal quality services to clients and patients.
“NURHI’s concept of 72-hour make-over is targeted at 50 health facilities where we are working; we are in the process of getting additional 50 facilities.
“So, we go in on Friday and complete work on the facility to be open for use on Monday; the idea is for family planning service commodities to be readily available in communities.’’
He added: “We also know that if a facility is not user-friendly, people will not access it.
“The Federal Government said that family planning should be free at all levels but when the facilities do not have the right equipment to help provide these services, it will affect choices and quality delivery.
“So, NURHI has provided these commodities and equipment to facilitate all necessary services for those who want them,’’ Haastrup said.
According to him, family planning or child birth spacing (CBS) has many benefits.
“ Family Planning is beneficial to mother, children, father and the family as a whole.
“Spacing a child through family planning methods helps the mother to regain her health after delivery; it also gives the woman the opportunity to love and give attention to her husband and children.
“ Family Panning is also an important intervention strategy to avert maternal, infant and child deaths.
“It reduces maternal mortality by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, the number of abortions and the proportion of high risk births,’’ he said.
The Chairman of Iba LCDA, Ramota Oseni, commended NURHI for the gesture.
Oseni, represented by Hon. Isiaka Yaya, Vice-Chairman, Iba LCDA, said: “Government cannot do it alone and that is why we are happy with NURHI 2’s initiative.
“We have seven PHCs in Iba LCDA, but the one at Iba Local Government headquarters is where most people go to.
“With the remodeling of this PHC, especially the family planning section, our people will be coming here; this will decongest the number of people going to Iba.
“We need more of this kind of initiatives and commitment from necessary stakeholders in the health sector,’’ Oseni said.
Speaking on behalf of the community, Chief Wahabi Eletu, the “Baale’’ of Okokomaiko, said there was need to intensify awareness on the benefits of family planning.
According to him, there is need for increased government’s presence in the community to facilitate growth and development.
The community leader said that the people would be committed to ensuring that the unit was sustained and people were mobilised and encouraged to use the family planning services.
NURHI is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve on reproductive health especially, family planning.