The Civil Society Organisation (CSO)’s focal point for FP2030 in Nigeria and Chair, Management Committee Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, Dr. Ejike Ojih has lamented the low family planning uptake in the last 10years in Nigeria.
Dr. Ojih disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the National Family Planning Technical Review Meeting (NFPTRM) on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 in Abuja.
He informed that there was no significant improvement in family planning uptake in the last 10years but is hopeful the country would close the gap in coming years.
“For the past 10years the needle did not shift but hopefully, with the change in administration and a new Minister of health, there would be improvement.
“For us that are in programming, we look at the outcome indicator, if the number of men and women in Nigeria increases and the contraceptive prevalent rate goes up, that means every other thing that we are doing as a process or structure put on ground is working, so the whole outcome indicator is to make sure that more people are on family planning, especially people who desire to.
“As we have now, 19% of women who want family planning are not getting it, so, if we can even meet those unmet needs, it could bring us to the level of meeting our 2030 goal. Because we said by 2030, we should be able to attain 27% increase family planning uptake”, he said.
Corroborating the CSO, the Director, Family Health Department of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Boladale Alonge said, Nigeria still had a huge unmet need for Family Planning (FP) services especially in the rural communities and hard-to-reach areas.
Dr. Alonge who was represented by the Director, Health Promotion, Dr. Ladidi Bako- Aiyegbusi explained that the NFPTRM held every year, brought together Family Planning Coordinators (FPCs) across the entire 36 States plus the FCT and experts to assess the state of Family Planning (FP) in their various States and share best practices.
She averred that the Federal Government had developed policies and created the enabling environment for implementing partners and donors to ensure that every couple had access to sexual and reproductive health services including family planning across the country.
However, “despite all the interventions by both government at the national and sub-national levels and partners support, there is still a huge unmet need for FP especially in our rural communities and hard-to-reach areas”.
She therefore called on all the participants to “put all hands on deck towards ensuring that multi-pronged challenges facing uptake of family planning services are addressed and target of modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) of 27% is achieved by the year 2030”.
In her goodwill message, UNFPA Nigeria Technical Lead, Family Planning and Maternal Health, Adeel Khen stated that Nigeria was facing “more and more funding gaps and that is where the states contribution become more important, particularly in this year 2023, where we’re looking at almost 80% gap”.
She added that, the UNFPA as long standing partners of the Federal Ministry of Health, is passionate about the family planning agenda, particularly in Nigeria, which is one of the largest populations of Africa.