By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Rising from a breakfast meeting which was organized by Family Health Advocates in Nigeria Initiative (FHANI) with the support of Pathfinder International with State Assembly Committees on Health, Appropriation, Women Affairs and Public Accounts to discuss issues around family planning (FP) in Kaduna State, it was resolved that year 2020 budget of the state should have an increase of family planning budget from N147.6m to N362.8m.
This was part of the resolution from the meeting as contained in a communique, jointly signed by FHANI Chairman, Alhaji Bala Muhammed (Bunun Zazzau) and RH/FP Unit KDSPHCDA, Mrs. Cecelia Marcus.
“That year 2020 family planning budget in the state be increased to N362.8 million from the current N147.6 million, so as to address the existing funding gap for the benefit of women of reproductive age,” it stated. It also resolved that availability and use of modern contraceptives use, would prevent unintended pregnancies, while high rate of unsafe abortions and maternal deaths would be averted.
“The meeting noted that because of the poverty level of families, especially in the rural areas, they cannot access FP services, hence the need for the House of Assembly to support and ensure allocation of appropriate and adequate funds, considering the challenges women faced.
“That partnership between the FHANI and the State House of Assembly is inevitable for the advancement of family health delivery through adequate appropriation and funding.
“The meeting acknowledges the opportunities created for CSOs by Kaduna State Government through good policies and environment with the resolve to work together to provide good governance.
“The meeting identifies the Kaduna State House of Assembly as one of the strong allies of CSOs in the state, hence the need for constant meetings.
“Advocacies to relevant committees in the House, the meeting says, should continue.
“It commends the government for putting in place adequate structures which should be well protected and utilized,” it contained.
According to the communiqué, objectives of the meeting included to strengthen partnership with the Legislature on issues around family planning and FHANI advocacy activities.
“To showcase the current picture of FP situation in Kaduna State and how the House of Assembly Members can support improved funding and policy environment that will lead to better appropriation, releases and cash disbursements.
“To deliberate on current status of Family Planning in the state and the challenges it faces from inadequate funding, as well as its link to maternal mortality.”
It informed that the House committee Chairmen were represented by their respective Secretaries, who met members of FHANI and representatives of the Reproductive Health (RH) Unit of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPCHDA).