Isiyaku Ahmed, Kano
In a media briefing, Women’s Integrated Services for Health (WISH) advocate for increased public financing for family planning (child birth spacing) amidst covid-19.
Participants at the event includes citizens group, medical experts, academia, Coalitions of Civil Society Organization and online, print and electronic media, from Jigawa and Kano States.
WISH is a three-year UKAID Funded Program jointly being implemented by Marie Stopes International, IPAS, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, Options and Think Place; they are working with other partners and civil society organizations to increase public funding and access to family planning services in Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Sustainability Lead for WISH, Dr. Michael Olawuyi says the briefing is aimed at highlighting the importance of continuity of essential family planning services amidst covid-19 and the importance of increased public financing for Family Planning in Nigeria especially Jigawa State.
According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world, accounting for 20% of global maternal deaths and Jigawa has a high maternal mortality ratio estimated at 1012/100,000 live births according to national studies.
Dr. Olawuyi says with increased financing, sensitization and access to the commodities at hospitals across Jigawa State, the situation can be improved.
He says family planning funds should be prioritized amidst covid-19 pandemic to ensure continuity of essential services. Dr. Olawuyi stressed that, “family planning has ability to yield demographic dividends, reduce maternal mortality and save costs to the health system. For every $1 invested in family planning, $ 2 is saved by the health system”.
He therefore urges journalists and civil society organizations to advocate for more health sector funding and timely disbursements of funds especially in family planning as it would translate to increased productivity and economic growth.
A panel discussions on some issues of family planning such “what are the New global trends in Family Planning Service demand and supply amidst covid-19”, “How covid-19 impacted access to family planning services and supplies in Nigeria, especially Jigawa State” and “how can we mainstream family planning amidst covid-19, so it receives the desired attention” had speakers responding elaborately to them to the delight of participants.