The Federal Government has
recently held a high-level private sector forum in Lagos, on family planning to discuss and engage with core
private sector organizations and players to ignite effective partnership and
make crucial decisions on the appropriate roadmap to developing a long-term
sustainability plan for greater impact on health and expanded family planning
products and services in the country.
Coordinating Minister of Health and
Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate con
represented by the Director, Family Health in the Ministry, Dr. Stella Nwosu,
in his remark said the forum is aimed at securing commitment for
Family Planning (FP) by Private Sectors, present FP investment case for
feedback and discuss plans towards actualizing FP2030. “It is a practical demonstration of our
commitment to join ongoing efforts to promote the
delivery, uptake of quality and improve access to affordable family planning
services as a clear strategy for enhancing the health and overall well-being of
Nigerians especially women, girls, and children.”
According to him, Nigeria is currently confronted with grave social and economic development challenges occasioned by the nation’s dwindling revenues which has become inadequate to cater for our high population of about 211 million making her the most populous in Africa and 7th in world. This is further compounded by our poor health indices including very high maternal mortality ratio of 512 deaths per 100,000 live births, a very low modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) of 12% and an Unmet Need for Family Planning of 19% (NDHS 2018). With a total fertility rate of 5.3 and an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent, the country is projected to double her current population and become the 4th most populous country in the world by 2050.
this end, the FMoH&SW in line with the renewed hope agenda of Mr. President, has unveiled the four-point
agenda of the health sector to Improve Governance, Improve Population Health
Outcome, Unlocking Healthcare Value Chain and Health Security. The Ministry has
equally embarked on wide-range interventions in collaboration with stakeholders.
Some of the policies and interventions include but not limited to the
of free Family Planning
information, services, and commodities to Nigerians of reproductive age at all
public sector health facilities in Nigeria; Mobilization of resources from government and
partners to support holistic implementation of interventions to scale-up the
delivery, uptake of quality and access to affordable Family Planning services; Adoption
of the Task-Shifting/Sharing Policy enabling certified Community Health
Extension Workers and Strengthen stakeholders’ coordination of Family Planning
interventions in Nigeria.
above measures and others initiated by the Federal Government over the past two
decades entailed huge investments of financial, human, and material resources
and have resulted in significant increase in demand for family planning
services and commodities. With this increase, funding requirements for
procurement of contraceptives have increased and there is a need to establish
more health facilities and build the capacity of service providers which come
with heavy financial consequences.
It is worthy of note that in the
last five (5) years, cost of procurement has risen from USD26,685,834.33 in 2019 to USD41,852,705.15 in 2023. Over
the same period, procurement funding gap has increased from USD5,794,330.95 in
2019 to USD29,054,665.15 in 2023 making it impossible to achieve full supply of family
planning commodities to health facilities.
“At the just concluded 64th National Council on Health Meeting, Council approved the request for establishment and funding of Budget Lines for Family Planning at both National and Sub-National levels for the implementation of Nigeria’s Family Planning programme. However, while this is a positive step, it must be said that effectively addressing the funding and other challenges facing Nigeria’s family planning programme goes beyond the public sector. A broad-based stakeholder engagement process involving the public, social marketing as well as the private sectors is required. It is important to note that a National Guideline on Private Engagement for Family Planning has already been developed and will be a useful tool in driving this process."
Senior Special Adviser to the
President on Health, Dr. Salma Anas, in her keynote address titled; Beyond Profit:
Impactful Transformative Partnerships with the Private
Sector on Family Planning said, “We are all aware of the unacceptable level of
maternal mortality rate in Nigeria with the country currently accounting for
about 20% of the global burden. Maternal mortality accounts for 59,000 deaths
of women annually in Nigeria, where women are 500 times more likely to lose
their lives in childbirth when compared to most advanced nations of the world.”
Dr. Anas, informed
that among the many interventions, such as skilled birth attendance, access to
ANC and CEmONC services, family planning is one of the most cost-effective
strategies for reducing maternal mortality. Investing in family Planning alone
will lead to at least a 30% decrease in maternal mortality.
The Renewed Hope
Health Agenda of the Government of Nigeria is committed to ensuring that
RMNCAEH+N and family planning are prioritised – ensuring that no woman or child
is left behind. The Agenda has identified the role of greater involvement of
the private sector in attaining government’s aspirations to ensure the
attainment of universal health coverage for all Nigerians. It envisions greater
private sector participation in areas such as local supply chain systems
strengthening, local manufacturing of essential medicines and increasing access
to health care services and utilization, including FP services. The National
Private Sector Engagement Strategic Plan for Family Planning is one of the
important national frameworks for achieving this objective. It allows the
private sector to contribute meaningfully to the implementation of FP programs
in all aspects including procurements, local manufacturing, storage and Last
Mile Distribution, resource mobilization, social marketing, capacity building
Wife of the Lagos
State Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Permanent Secretary Health
District 6, Dr. Abimbola Mabogunje said the
growing population in the nation has its attendant challenges such as increased
rate of unemployment, high rate of poverty, poor access to sanitation, poor
health, lack of or poor education and increased crime rates. One effective tool
for tackling these problems is for families to have the number of children they
can cater for.
Although government is making frantic efforts to make
access to modern family planning free for women, there is need for all relevant
stakeholders in the health sector to join forces with the government to chart a
course towards effective funding of family planning services.
Deputy Representative UNFPA Nigeria, Mr. Koessan Kuawu, in his remarks said that Nigeria’s, maternal mortality is a major public health challenge. By reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, spacing pregnancies, empowering women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health, and improving access to quality healthcare, family planning saves lives. Unfortunately, family planning needs in Nigeria remain largely unmet with a funding gap amounting to $32 million in 2023 (need of $41,9 million against funding of $12,4 million); this results in 19% of women of reproductive age who want family planning not having access to it, according to the latest National Demographic Health survey of 2018.
“We believe that a mutually beneficial partnership with the organized
private sector, clearly articulated in Nigeria’s FP2030 commitments and the
National Private Sector Engagement Strategy will bring about: saving the lives
of thousands of women and girls in our communities; offer opportunity and
support to the private sector entities to fulfill their social responsibilities
in an impactful way; operating the required paradigm shift from the perception
of family planning as a health issue to the understanding that family planning
is an important development agenda, an economic empowerment tools that has the
potential of better positioning Nigeria as the giant that we are; providing
more innovation and diversification in the National Family Planning Programme, and
enhanced accountability and efficiency of the National Family Planning
Prof. Oladipo Ladipo. RFH stressed that Nigeria needs qualitative
reproduction. He said that the private sector should invest in the production
of family planning commodities which can be exported to other countries.
Thereby reducing the cost of procurement when compared with importing from
other developed countries.
Earlier, MD/CEO, Zouera Youssoufou, Aliko Dangote
Foundation in her remarks said investing in family planning is a development
“best buy” that can accelerate achievements across the 5 Sustainable
Development Goal themes of, People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.
“Government alone cannot solve all the problems, and we as a nation continue to
rely on donor-driven intervention to address our family planning issues. There
is an urgent need for us to look inward for domestic resource mobilization through
private sector engagement. Improved utilization of the private sector is key to
achieving universal access to a range of safe and effective modern
contraceptive methods stipulated by FP2020 and SDG commitments she said.”
Also present at the forum were
stakeholders from Access Holdings Plc, Zenith Bank Group, Focal Point, CHAI,
Nigeria Business Coalition against AIDS, HACEY, African Business Coalition for
Health, Association for Reproductive and Family Health, National Population
Commission, Young Directors Forum, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria,
West Africa Gas Pipeline Corporation among others.
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