The Federal Government says there is need to invest in a nationwide family planning programme in order to put a check on the current high fertility rate in the country.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by the Minister of Health, Profesor Isaac Adewole stated this at the 5th National Family Planning Conference in Abuja.
The Vice President said one of the main issues identified in the Demographic Dividend Roadmap is the need to invest in a nationwide family planning programme which eliminates the unmet need for modern contraception.
“It will put a check on the current high-fertility rate, and helps achieve efficient population management. Investing in family planning has been proven to be smart, cost-effective, and life-saving; and is especially critical in a country like Nigeria with a young and rapid growing population “
According to him, an estimated 63% of the total population is below 25 years of age; with a significant segment of this population being sexually active, and in need of education and guidance to wisely navigate the issues of sexuality, choice and contraception.
The Honorable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, who was represented by the Director, Department of Family Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi said there is need to intensify efforts regarding Family planning
Speaking at the session, the Minister said that evidence had shown that, the home grown effort approach strategy: Get It Together Campaign, put together by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) was of tremendous effect in sustaining the gains of Family planning activities recorded across all nooks and crannies of the country.
According to the Minister, there is need for all Nigerians to come together and address the issue of Family planning , so as to achieve the demographic dividends.
“Every individual need to adopt the method that suits them. At the Same time to also know the facts concerning Family planning. We will provide technical support, capacity building, with inclusiveness to every state of the Federation “
Adewole further advised on the use of data to bring about the difference in advocacy, message delivery and sensitization. These approach, he said, would scale up health service in Nigeria.
He also said that all hands must be on deck to take the health sector to the desired level assuring that the Federal Ministry of health is poised to partner with every interested group.
The guest lecture, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa who advocated on the need to prioritise the health of Nigerians .
He noted that key directions must be put in place in driving access to family planning services.
“We have inadequate investments in family planning by government at all levels.
It is also characterized by inefficient resource utilisation of key basket funds with continuing gaps in the availability of budget lines and funding for adolescent health programmes at the national and especially at the sub- national levels.
Federal and State Governments must commit additional funding to respond to the growing unmet need for family planning across the country, including expanding and developing a Health Insurance Schemes that include comprehensive family planning services;
The Stakeholders also stressed the importance of developing family planning programmes that are context specific and evidence-based.
“We need to come up with innovative financing mechanisms to explore and access family planning-focused funding baskets including; the Global Financing Facility, the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, State Contributory Health Insurance Schemes and the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results.”
Despite the significant level of investments and interventions and increase in expected outcome, we need to accelerate gains to get on track to attain the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) target of 27% by 2020 in view of persisting high fertility and maternal mortality rates, as well as the moderate unmet need for family planning.