NIGERIA IN 2015 recorded an additional 3.5m new users of modern methods of Family Planning representing an increase of 36% from the previous year, 2014, outcome of a new survey released by Federal Government has revealed.
This figure is found to be a significant improvement the in the number of users who demanded for family planning contraceptives in 2014 and an indication that the goal of the Family Planning target of 2020 (FP2020] is achievable on the long run.
The results is the outcome of the Family Planning (FPWatch] survey conducted by Federal Ministry of Health funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by the Society for Family Health (SFH] and Population Services International [PSI].
Disclosing the outcome of the survey findings during a National Dissemination programme in Abuja, Head Reproductive Health Division and Director, Family Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health Dr Kayode Afolabi, noted that with the present performance and an improved national strategies, the country is also on track to achieve the 36percent set target for the year 2018.
Afolabi also disclosed that between 2011 and 2015, the total cost of investment in contraceptives by government was US$57.149m which has potential of savings Government the sum of US$641m in the long run in caring for unwanted pregnancy related conditions (Eleven fold return on investment).
From the survey data also, between 2011 and 2015 annual contraceptive prevalence [CYP] was about 15m which invariably averted about 3m unintended pregnancies and 19,392 deaths of women in pregnancy within the period.
From the results of the study which was conducted in 36 States and Federal Capital Territory, there was equally a mean contraceptive prevalence rate [mCPR] improvements from 9.8 % in 2013 to 16% in 2016 due to rapid scale up of access to FP services facilitated by investments by Government and private sector partners.
Folabi concluded that the comprehensive FPwatch study results is an indication that Nigeria’s public and private sector are ready and have capacity to deliver short-acting and long-acting and reversible contraceptives.
“This evidence is key to help inform national strategies and policies aimed at achieving the FP2020 commitments: to reach a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 36% by 2018”, the result stated.
The Family Health Director however warned against hindrances to achieving the desired target of 36% of FP2020 saying, “Some of the challenges could be as a result of unpredictable trends in the release of budget for commodities, foreign exchange rate fluctuation as well as end of Canadian DFATD-Project by 2014 which has been responsible for about $1.2m annually in funding for family planning programme in the country.
Other challenges identified by Afolabi include: “Unwillingness of donors/partners to disclose full details of their commitment to FP other than contraceptives procurement is causing duplication of effort and non-optimal utilization of financial resources for activities likewise, the growing number of users due to increased demand generation activities as well as the ned to continuously improve capacity of service providers to fall in line with government’s free Family Planning Policy.