States, local govts not budgeting enough for Family Planning – Expert laments  

States, local govts not budgeting enough for Family Planning – Expert laments  

As the world yesterday marked the World Contraception Day, WCD Family Planning, FP expert, Dr Ejike Orji says the uptake has continued to remain low because states and local governments are not budgeting enough for it across Nigeria.

Dr. Orji who is the Chairman, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning ( AAFP), told Nigeria Health Online that the last Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey NDHS revealed that Nigeria’s family planning uptake added only two percent from 2012.

He noted that issues of leadership, governance and service delivery structures are the major problems.

Orji said: “The areas we have major challenges are the sub national levels; at the state and local levels. The states are not budgeting enough for family planning. Most of them don’t even have line up items for family planning services in their budget. That has made a lot of stock out to happen.

“Most states do not even put money on demand generation. Even though as we speak, 20 percent of the Nigerian women who want family planning are not getting it. So that means that we are not meeting the demands of the women.

“Initially, we said 36 percent when we signed the London Summit in 2012, we said we will attend 36 percent by 2020, it became obvious to us that our trajectory wasn’t going to meet that target, so we reduced it to 27 percent.  And then when it was getting nearer to 2020, we moved it again to 2024.”

Speaking on the impact of family planning on the health, population and economy, Orji said there’s a link between family planning and prosperity.

He said: “For instance, China and India are the two biggest populous nations of the world. Fifty years ago, they were poor countries, the only way they were able to get out of that was that they regulated family planning. China said, one couple, one child and India said one couple two kids and they maintained it.

“But, it is not enough to use stability; they have to take other deliberate steps. After you reduce the fertility rate using family planning services, the next important thing is to make a lot of investments in healthcare to make sure that women have access to contraception and children have good health.

“We have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, especially under five. And when a woman has five children and four die, that means she has only one and she wants to have more.

So the possibility is that she will keep producing because she doesn’t know how many will survive. So, those are some of the facts of high fertility rate.

“But, if we have a good healthcare sector and the woman has one or two, they will survive so she won’t go and start trying to produce more,” Dr. Orji said.

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