Nigeria To Increase Health Facilities, Providing Family Planning
Nigeria Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, at the recently concluded Family Planning Summit in London has pledged, in collaboration with its partners and the private sector, to achieve a modern contraceptive rate of 27% among all women by 2020. The government also pledged to increase the number of health facilities providing family planning.
Nigeria committed increasing its annual allocation for contraceptives to $4 million, and to ensure total disbursement of $56 million to the states, through its participating in the Global Financing Facility and via international development assistance loans. Nigeria will expand the implementation of its task-shifting policy to include patent medicine vendors and community volunteers to improve access to family planning services in difficult-to-reach areas and among disadvantaged populations. Nigeria will use its Minimal Initial Service Package for sexual reproductive health to provide family planning supplies within its national crisis preparedness and response.
According to a statement made available to Saturday Independent, Nigeria pledged to remove regulatory barriers and to scale up access to new contraceptive methods such as sub-cutaneous Depo Medroxyprogesterone Acetate injections (Sayana Press). To transform its last-mile distribution of health and family planning commodities, Nigeria will use a push-model system, and collaborate with the private sector to optimally transport, store and track commodities, using an electronic logistics management system.
A new tracking and accountability system will report annually and real-time, expenditures for family planning at national and state levels. The government will increase the number of health facilities providing family planning services in each of its states and federal territory to 20,000 and leverage its 10,000 functional primary health care facilities to raise awareness about family planning. In this vein, Nigeria will partner with stakeholders and gatekeepers to reduce socio-cultural barriers for family planning services, including by collaborating with line ministries to ensure the provision of age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health information to youth through the Family Life Health Education Curriculum and youth-friendly services in health facilities and other outlets.
To address financial barriers, the government will collaborate with states, donors and other stakeholders on a health insurance scheme to make household family planning expenditures reimbursable.
This commitment will go a long way in reaching thousands of women and girls with critical reproductive health information. According to the report, Nigeria has over 3.8 million married and sexually active adolescents (ages 15-19) of whom 19% have an unmet need for contraception.
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