Govt partners NGOs to tackle family planning barriers

The Nasarawa State Government is collaborating with two NGOs to tackle Family Planning (FP) barriers and reduce maternal mortality in the state.

The NGOs are Pathfinder International Nigeria (PIN) and Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH).

A PACFaH Facilitator, Mrs Aanu Rotimi, said at a three-day workshop held on Thursday in Akwanga, that the major strategy to reduce this mortality incidence was to address FP barriers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop, organised by the three collaborating parties, had the theme: “Development of Nasarawa Costed Implementation Plan for Family Planning’’.

“The aim of organising this workshop is to develop a plan that will be implementable and usable to encourage family planning and thereby reduce maternal and child mortality rate among women in the state,’’ said the facilitator.

Rotimi identified ignorance, cultural and religious beliefs, funding, political will, inaccessibility as major factors affecting family planning, hence the need for the development plan.

She urged the state government to give family planning programmes the most needed priority through adequate funding and to ensure that family planning contraceptives and other services were available in public facilities.

“This workshop is a stakeholders’ engagement which brings together health experts, stakeholders from various ministries, agencies, the media, civil society, NGOs to encourage women and girls to embrace family planning programmes, considering its enormous benefits.

“The importance of family planning cannot be over-emphasised, it strengthens the health of the woman directly and the man indirectly.

“It also saves the lives of mothers and makes significant contributions to reduce maternal mortality rate among women,” Rotimi stressed.

Mr Yemi Osanyin, the Pathfinder facilitator, underscored the need to remove barriers in the way of women and girls accessing family planning services.

Osanyin said that the survival of women was very key to the economic development of any nation.

“Family planning enables the couple prepare adequately for pregnancies and children, and also enables sexually active women and girls to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies,’’ he said.

Earlier in a welcome address, Dr Madawa Absalom, a Director with the state Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the state government had invested a lot in the health sector.

Absalom said this was in a bid to better the health and wellbeing of its residents.

He reiterated the state government’s commitment to partner any organisation interested in addressing problems confronting family planning and other health problems in the state.

Absalom said the government was keen to ensure the overall development of the state and the country at large through protection of its population.