Wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, has said that improved access to modern contraception for youth increases opportunities throughout their lives, including longer education, and greater ability to engage in income-producing activities.”
She disclosed this recently at the 3rd annual consultative meeting on family planning in Abuja, where she launched the latest report of a survey into access to reproductive health commodities and services in health facilities in Nigeria.
Represented by wife of the Senate President, and founder of Well Being Africa, Mrs Toyin Saraki, Buhari said, “Universal access to family planning is a human right, critical to gender equity, and women’s empowerment and a key factor in reducing poverty.”
“Family planning also has proven benefits to improve women’s health, child survival and HIV prevention. Similarly improve access to modern contraception for youth increases opportunities throughout their lives, including longer education, fewer pregnancies, a later and healthier start to childbearing and greater ability to engage in income-producing activities.”
Country representative of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, Ratidza Ndhlovu, said records showed at least 3.5 million new women began using contraception last year, in the wake of recommendations from the last consultative meeting.
“A lot more still needs to be done and done to scale,” Ndhlovu said. “We need to establish an effective Integrated supply chain system right up to the end user, improve collection and use of quality routine data, enhance community level family planning information, education and service provision and increase the human resource base that can provide long acting reproductive commodities in all primary health centres.”
The survey of 1021 health facilities found large differences between policy expectations and actual availability of contraception. It found only four in10 health facilities had supply of life-saving medicines for maternal and reproductive health. The survey also uncovered efficiency in training and management to deal with family planning commodities.
At least 23% of the facilities had never had a supervisor visit, and only 28% had had any supervisory visit in three months before the survey.