Five years after the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning Nigeria along with 60 other countries have again pkedged their commitments to provide at least $2.5bn in funding towards achieving improved modern contraceptive provisions and use by year 2020.
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole who pledged on behalf of Federal Government at the Summit announced the allocation of $4m for the purchase of modern contraceptives and to ensure total disbursement of the sum of $56 million to the states through participation in the Global Financing Facility and through international development assistance loans.
The Minister made it clear also 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.
According to the Minister, the country will use its Minimal Initial Service Package for sexual reproductive health to provide family planning supplies within its national crisis preparedness and response.
The ederal government pledged to remove regulatory barriers and to scale up access to new contraceptive methods such as sub-cutaneous Depo Medroxyprogesterone Acetate injections (Sayana Press).
Government equally pledged to transform its last-mile distribution of health and family planning commodities and to use the 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.
Adewole pledged that 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”, said Adewole. .
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.
Nigeria’s commitment is expected to go a long way in reaching thousands of women and girls with critical reproductive health information.
Nigeria reportedly has over 3.8 million married and sexually active adolescents (ages 15-19) of whom 19% have an unmet need for contraception.
Ii is believed tht if Nigeria was to increase its focus on adolescents, enabling an additional 584,000 adolescent girls to use modern contraception by 2020, then we would see a 14% reduction in its adolescent birth rate.
Co-hosted by the UK Government, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in close partnership with the FP2020 Secretariat, the international event aims to boost progress on one of the best investments governments can make: rights-based family planning programmes.