We’ll need stakeholders cooperation to sustain PF in Lagos – NURHI
The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), says it will rely on the cooperation of Lagos State policy makers, technocrats, religious and traditional leaders in the ongoing efforts to increase family planning uptake in the state from the current 48 % level to a target of 74 percent by 2018 ,
At a one-day Contraceptive Technology Update meeting in Lagos recently, the organisation re-emphasised its mission to return family planning to the front burner and help create an avenue where supply and demand barriers to contraceptive use are eliminated and family planning becomes a social norm in the state.
“So we want to initiate a process whereby the community at state and LGA will begin to own the process because they have understood the benefits of family planning not because they were told but because they now understand what family planning is all about,” NURHI Lagos team leader,
Dr. Omasanjuwa, noted some of the NURHI`s land marks achievements in two years that the second phase of NURHI project started in Lagos.
In the areas of service delivery, he said the organisation has been able to have improved quality of family planning service provision; upgrading and renovation of family planning units of 49 Health facilities; training of 111 clinical providers and 379 non-clinical providers on family planning; while expanding access of family planning to men and women and 47, 402 new users.
“Approximately, 171, 140 people (were) reached in Year 2 through social mobilization and they have been able to refer 26, 941 people where70 have availed themselves the opportunity of accessing one method or the other. For estimated media reach, Radio- 8, 95, 181 (15 stations) whereas TV- 17, 268, 575 (6 stations), he said.”
Also rising from the update are some of NURHI`s expected direct impact of family planning for Lagos on or before 2018 which include increased mCPR by 12.5%; contributing to the prevention of additional 8, 000 maternal deaths, prevention of an additional 103, 000 child lives, and contributing to averting 2.6million unintended pregnancies in the state.
Dr. Omasanjuwa however noted that NURHI could not have achieved these expectations without the collaboration of the stakeholders since out of the number they referred, 70% of them turned up to take family planning “which goes to show that people want to use it but only need to be directed where to access the services.”
Speaking further, Dr. Omasanjuwa described the meeting as basically “a touch point” for policymakers and technocrats to rub minds on the best way forward for improving family planning services in the community, LGAs and in the state.
“So it’s (an) activity that is focusing on decision makers technically so that we can work hand in hand together to actually know what is happening in our community, how our community stands to benefit from family planning.
“Specifically, we will be looking at how to improve critical understanding resource need to family planning. When we talk about family planning, what exactly we need to provide these services and what it entails to provide these services to everybody that will need them at the community level,” Dr. Omasanjuwa said.
In his presentation, Dr. Saidat Okaga, the State Reproductive Health Coordinator stressed the need for increased funding for family planning especially for consumables at LGA levels and human and material resources in the state.
Dr. Okaga, recognized some of the accelerated interventions in the state such as: implementation of activities for long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods; large-scale training to ensure implementation of task shifting with appropriate supervision of the community health extension workers (CHEWs); the family planning costed implementation plan as the state strategy to address existing gaps and line budget item of N22, 270, 000 and N22, 2 40, 000 for family planning (FP/RH) for years 2016 &2017 respectively.
She also identified some issues among which are: lack of data from the private sector except a few working with partners; non availability of consumables in the Primary Healthcare Centers to provide optimal service thus leading to missed opportunities; staff attrition; late data rendition from some secondary Health facilities; user fees introduced for family services at SDPs (procurement of consumables); a very wide gap between knowledge and use of family planning and sub-optimal demand creation for family services.
Dr. Okaga also restated the state commitments to FP 2020. According to her, the state is to “Increase the CRP to 74% by 2018, increase the current annual budget commitment; train frontline health workers to deliver a range of contraceptive and action to improve equity and access to family planning for the poorest and partner with the private sector, civil society traditional and religious institutions and development partners.”