By Joseph Edegbo
Stakeholders on Child Birth Spacing have asked Kaduna State Government to simplify the process of procuring Family Planning commodities and consumables to address the existing gap in supplies.
The call was part of resolutions by the stakeholders at a Round Table Discussion on Maternal Health and Child Birth Spacing in Kaduna, organized by Family Health Advocates in Nigeria Initiative, (FHANI) with support from Pathfinder International.
The Stakeholders noted that the present process of procurement is too cumbersome, hence the need to be simplified for positive results.
An analysis by stakeholders in 2019 showed a funding gap of N300 million and a drop in the number of women accessing child birth spacing services in the State causing a downward trend.
The discussants who were informed of the approved release of N250 million intervention fund stressed the need for urgent cash backing to enable UNFPA supply the FP Commodities in line with Federal Government’s guidelines.
It was also resolved that a summary of the Presentation at the meeting be presented before the State Human Capital Development Council with a view to keeping them abreadst with current situation of Maternal Health and Child Birth Spacing in the State.
The Stakeholders also suggested that an MOU be developed by the State Health Supply Management Agency and Primary Health Care Board on procurement to eliminate any bottleneck therein.
The Discussants want strategies to perfecting the family planning services by creating an enabling environment for both the public and private sectors to collaborate and provide an open access to all.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman, Family Health Advocates in Nigeria Initiative, Alhaji Bala Tijjani said the meeting was not only appropriate but timely.
He expressed concern that the Child Birth Spacing program in the State had suffered a downward trend in terms of performance coupled with COVID-19.
He stated that Kaduna State was leading in Family Planning in the country and would therefore be unfortunate, if suddenly overtaken by other States.
Alhaji Bala therefore tasked the participants to come out with possible ways towards the success of the program .
Also, the Program Officer of Pathfinder International, Mallam Yusuf Nuhu, spoke of the commitment of the organization supporting initiatives aimed at helping states increase investment and creating enabling environment for Family Planning.
The Program Officer who said there are alot of challenges to be addressed described Pathfinder as a frontline supporter of FHANI in advocacy.
Also speaking, Representative of the Ministry of Finance and a Director, Mallam Abdulhadi Mohammed Suleiman said the State government has the political will to meet its obligations, but for the paucity of fund.
He encouraged FHANI and its collaborators to continue to push forward, adding that the Ministry would do its best to do the needful.
The Chairman of the meeting and Commissioner for Education, Dr. Shehu Usman Muhammad, commended FHANI for doing a good job.
The Commissioner who stressed the need for a research in the field of Child Birth Spacing also called for expansion to cover younger couples.
Among the Stakeholders who attended the meeting were the State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajia Hafsat Baba, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Officials from the Primary Health Care Board, Kaduna State Health Supply Management Agency, Ministry of Health, Contributory Health Authority and other NGOs.