*hails Rotary International
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
In its desire to ensure sustainable family planning, the Federal Ministry of Health will soon introduce the Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Subcutaneous Injection (DMPA-SC), which allows for self injection in hard to reach places.
The Honourable Minister of StateFor Health, Senator Senator Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora disclosed this at the National Family Planning Media Campaign Launch, held at the National Press Centre, Abuja on July 1, 2021.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is in the process of introducing and/or Scaling Up new family planning commodities to expandNigeria’s Method Mix to allow for free choice.
“The Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Subcutaneous Injection (DMPA-SC) which has been formulated to allow for selfinjection.
“This is considered a game-changer in Nigeria’s Family Planning Landscape.
“It is indeed very useful for ensuring continuation subsequent doses in hard-to-reach areas as clients could be given some vials to take home after some training on its use,” he said.
Senator Mamora explained that family planning is an important intervention for promoting proper timing and spacing of pregnancies as well as assisting to achieve pregnancies where challenges exist.
“It also promotes maternal and child survival with a potential for reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity by 30 per cent. In addition, a successful implementation is key to achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.
The Minister said that the Federal Ministry of Health has been collaborating with development partners to build synergy towards provision of quality family planning information services for the purposes of prevention of unintended pregnancies as well as for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS.
“As ‘part of Government’s efforts to provide a roadmap for family planning implementation as well as proper coordination, the FederalMinistry of Health revised the Nigeria Family Planning Blueprint (Scale Up Plan 2020-2024), which was developed in 2014 as a follow up to the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, to provide guidance for stakeholders for implementation of family planning in Nigeria.
“This important document spells out six thematic areas and their cost implications. So far many states have developed their State-specific Costed Implementation Plans and Annual Operational Plans to guide the implementation of family Planning in their domains,” he explained.
According to him, other key interventions put in place by the Federal Ministry of Health include the “Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy”
“Nigeria adopted the Task Shifting and Task Sharing Policy in 2014 to address the acute manpower challenges in the country. Under this policy, rational distribution of tasks is undertaken to allow less qualified health .care workers fre trai to undertake tasks they were not earlier allowed to perform, thereby freeing the more qualified ones to attend to other more demanding tasks,” he added.
He also listed the “Free Family Planning Commodities Policy” as another intervention.
“The Government of Nigeria instituted the Free Family Planning Commodities Policy in 2014 to address the lack of access to FP information and services because of cost. This Policy was adopted after a study showed that a significant percentage of Nigerians of reproductive age were unable to access FP information services.iii. Introduction and Scale Up of New and Underutilized Contraceptive Technologies.
“The Federal Ministry of Health is also in the process of finalizing modalities for the inclusion of Hormonal IntrauterineDevice in Nigeria’s public health system,” he explained.
Similarly, Senator Mamora said that, the ministry also adopted “Development of the National Guidelines for State Funded Procurement of Contraceptive Commodities”.
He explained that yhe Federal Ministry of Health is in the process of finalizing the National Guidelines for State Funded Procurement of Contraceptive Commodities to bridge the gaps in FP financing.
The Minister added that the Development of the National Private Sector Engagement Strategic Plan has also recorded huge gains.
“Efforts are in top gear to finalize the National Private Sector Engagement Strategic Plan to comprehensively involve the private sector in family planning implementation to rapidly increase uptake,” he assured.
According to him, in spite of the gains recorded, several challenges are significantly impeding progress towards the achievement of Nigeria’s modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 27 per cent by year 2024.
“Some of the challenges include inadequate financing for family planning at all levels or delayed release of Federal Government of Nigeria’s counterpart funds for the procurement of contraceptive commodities, inadequate funding for Monitoring and Supportive Supervision activities as well as poor state commitment and support for last mile distribution of Family Planning commodities.
“Other challenges include myths and misconceptions and inadequate male involvement in family planning activities,” he outlined..
He noted that based on the challenges earlier mentioned, it is critical for the media to get more deeply involved in disseminating accurate information on family planning issues to rapidly address the barriers to access to family planning information and services.
“Hence, the Family Planning Media Campaign Launch could not have come at a better time as the country facing challenges that threaten the health and social well-being of women, children, adolescent boys and girls and the vulnerable groups.
“I therefore, invite the media to deepen its collaboration with the Ministry and other key stakeholders in the Family Planning space for accurate reporting on family planning issues to catalyze progress towards the achievement of the Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate Target of 27% by year 2024,” he appealed.
Mamora commended Rotary International for committing resources for the important intervention.