By Joseph Edegbo:
Pathfinder International has asked the media to overcome barriers in policy formulation and implementation through reportage in order to promote supportive environment for family planning.
Communication and Media Officer of the organisation, Somto Atuanya gave the task on Friday at a Media Parley with PMA2020 and FHANI in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria.
The media, she added, should also influence government, donors and implementing partners to adopt or improve programmes.
Other roles expected of the media include strengthening coverage of Family Planning through feature stories, Radio/programs and social media as part of Strategies to increase public and leadership knowledge on the importance of family planning.
The specialist was also of the opinion that the media working in partnership with relevant government agencies, Advocacy Working Groups, Faith Based Organizations and traditional institutions would not only boost content but provide linkages to community or Stakeholders.
Somto reminded journalists that advocacy is not about changing specific practices or even building community awareness. Rather, it is intended to change opinion about a policy.
On his part, the Executive Director, Africa Media Development Foundation, (AMDF) Iliya Kure spoke on the importance of Data Journalism while referring to the results of the, PMA 2018 survey.
Data, Kure said, provides opportunity for statistical in-depth analysis adding that any Journalist who does not take this into cognizant is left behind.
In her presentation, a Resource Person, Dr. Elizabeth Omoluabi stated that the best investment in human capital is family planning.
She analygized the outcome of the data collection conducted between April and May 2018 in 2,268 House Holds and 136 Service Delivery Points (SDP) in 66 Enumerated Areas in Kaduna State.
Omoluabi disclosed that there was a steady progression from 2016 in all method CPR, mCPR and LARC with a minimum of one percentage point increase. Use of modern method, she said, has increased from 16.1% to 18.1%.
“Total unmet need for FP which had dropped in 2017 is now on the rise. Over all total demand satisfied by modern method has dropped by 5 percentage points to the level of 2016.” she emphasised.
But the encouraging news is that contraceptives, she said, are now reaching rural areas, while the gap between them and urban residents is reducing rapidly.
The Survey, Dr Omoluabi said, also shows that women in rural areas choose to use FP a year earlier than Urban women at their third child.
The survey which was aimed at monitoring key indicators for family planning, was conducted by the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Development (CRERD) and Bayero University Kano.