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Foundation addresses Nigeria's need for family planning

11 December 2015, 15:30Emeka Okonkwo

Abuja - The Wellbeing Foundation Africa has called for increased investments in personal health records to address the need for family planning in Nigeria.

Founder and President of the organisation, Toyin Saraki, made the call on Friday at the 2015 Family Planning Stakeholders Consultative Forum in Abuja where she is the Guest of Honour.

She said family planning was a powerful tool for improving maternal health outcomes, therefore its place in improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) could not be overemphasized.

“We must work together to fill the 22 percent gap in unmet need for family planning services but at the same time, we must work together to encourage behavior change in childbirth spacing and foster greater accountability,” Saraki said.

“Investments in proven tools such as the WBFA Personal Health Records can help achieve this, as it is a crucial health information delivery platform for women about family planning, as well as an accountability tool that can identify gaps in their reproductive care.”

Also Read: Group sensitises deaf women on reproductive health

With only 16 percent of women in Nigeria using any form of contraception, Saraki further emphasised the role that family planning could play in transforming the face of healthcare in Nigeria.

According to the 2015 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World's Population report, there is a 22 percent unmet need for family planning in Nigeria due to inadequate availability of trained medical personnel and gaps in the supply chain of family planning commodities, particularly at the primary health care level.

To address this, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has introduced the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund (AUHCF), which provides free access to quality primary healthcare for 5 000 Nigerian residents, per year, a lot of whom are women and adolescent girls.

Hosted by the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in conjunction with the UNFPA, the forum seeks to conduct a review of the family planning outlook in Nigeria, while deliberating and strategizing on how to meet the targeted 36 percent Contraceptive Prevalence Rate set by the FMOH, as to be achieved by 2018.

Themed “Evidence-based Family Planning Programming in Nigeria”, the 2015 Family Planning Forum is taking place until Saturday.

With an estimated population of 181,5 million, Nigeria is said to have the seventh largest population in the world.

- CAJ News


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