The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has been advised to put modalities in place to ensure that family commodities are available in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr Aminu Magashi, gave the advice in a chat with the media in Abuja, yesterday.
He, however, lamented that currently, only 22 per cent of Nigerian women use contraceptives.
He appealed to religious, traditional and community leaders to show interest in family planning issues by exposing the health benefits of the uptake of the commodity to their followers.
“We are calling on the President, the National Assembly and the entire executives to look at the value of family planning to the economic development in addressing socio-cultural challenges, in managing the population in ensuring that families have children they can cater for so that the children can go to school and can be catered for medically and socially.
“We need to ensure that family planning commodities are everywhere in Nigeria. Both in rural and urban settlements, in every facility including the primary, secondary and the tertiary,” he stressed.
Dr. Magashi recalled that: “If you remember the London Summit in 2012, it also took place in 2017.
“At that Summit, Nigeria committed to allocate 4m dollars every year for the procurement of family planning commodities and also to raise the modern contraceptive prevalence rate from where it is to 27 per cent.
“So, right now in 2020 we are not able to meet the 27 per cent target and also the government did not fulfil its promise to release the 4m dollars. It only released part.”
He, therefore, called on those he described as the respected and senior citizens of the country to intervene to ensure that family planning commodities are made available to all in the country.
“I call on all senior and respected people in Nigeria to embrace the discussion of family planning so that our society will improve medically, socially and also we will be able to address socio cultural barriers in our society,” he noted.
He further charged the civil society organisations and media to engage and enlighten all stakeholders on the importance of family planning to the health and economic wellbeing of the country.
“What the civil society groups and the media need to do is to engage the traditional, religious and community leaders.
“We need to have champions, we also need to have genuine advocates among these elders in our society.
“The emirs, the pastors, the imams, need to see the value of family planning from the medical point of view.
“If a women is empowered to space her children, she will reduce the risk of infection and excessive bleeding during pregnancy. She become healthy to cater for her own children,” Dr. Magashi said.