Why there should be increased adoption, funding for family planning
Stakeholders representing the various strata of the society have called for improved efforts towards the adoption and funding of family planning in the country.
Speaking separately, the stakeholders which comprise community and religious leaders, youth leaders, governmental and non-governmental organizations, among others said there was need for change methods of advocacy in order to achieve results.
They made the call during the inauguration of the family planning advocates, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with the Health Policy Plus (HP+) Project in Abuja.
Country Director of Health Policy Plus (HP+) Project, Onoriode Ezire, said family planning was one way the country could reduce maternal and infant deaths, adding that the cheapest and easiest way to manage population was to manage fertility.
He said there was need for government to make contraceptives available for women and improve funding for family planning.
Founder of a community development project, Earth Green Concepts, Ibrahim Tafawa Balewa said family planning was an integral part of economic growth and development.
“Supporting, advocating, tracking and monitoring family planning has been an integral strategy of most nations that have evolved and developed. If you look at the Asian countries, Malaysia and Indonesia they actually focused heavily on family planning and that is why they are where they are today,” he said.
He said it was important to look at family planning from a communal perspective because the way the various ethnic groups in the country understand it differed.
He said: “We should go back to our communities where we have got leverage and trust and break it down in the way they would be able to digest it. Awareness is not about going to school, but breaking it down to them in the way they will be able to understand, and it should come from within.”
He added that there was no need spending money using the same generic template and policies with the same programmes and yet getting no results.
National President of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) Amina Omoti, also called for access to maternal health services and breaking down advocacy to the various cultures.
“Some people do not accept the word ‘family planning’ but there is no where child spacing is not accepted. The holy books recognise child spacing , like the Holy Qur’an, speaks of breast feeding for two years, if a women breast feed properly for two years, is that not child spacing? We shouldn’t stick to one way of doing things , what matters is the end result,” Omoti said.
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