By Dan-Maryam Zayamu
The Coordinator, Africa Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba, has called for innovative engagement with politicians for them to put Family Planning (FP) 2030 target in the front burner and the needed funding achieved.
He made the call while responding to questions from journalists at a two-day strategic retreat in Abuja, recently.
The retreat was organised by the AHBN to review Nigeria’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) recovery plan scorecard and validate the FP 2030 Accountability Motion Tracker Template.
He reiterated that there was need for innovation in the course of advocacy for politicians to put FP planning at the front burner so that the more funds will be allocated for FP.
“So in summary, innovation, innovation, innovation to engage advocacy and sensitization. That is what we should focus on this year and next year,” he said.
Dr. Magashi, however, insisted that the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), advocates, the media and young persons must work together for the Family Planning (FP) 2030 target to be achieved.
He further said that the government must increase its contraceptive prevalence rate; reduce its unmet needs for Family Planning and also work closely with all relevant agencies for the FP 2030 ambitious target to see the light of the day.
Dr. Magashi advised the CSOs, advocates, the media and the young persons must work closely with the government and relevant agencies to ensure the needed funds are released in order to guaranteed the achievement of the FP 2030 target.
“These are very ambitious objectives of the FP2030 for Nigeria. We have to work very hard. We have to also increase our contraceptive prevalence rate in Nigeria. We have to reduce our unmet needs for family planning.
“We have to work together with National Population Commission (NPC) and the Nigeria’s Governors Forum (NGF) and all the sectors in Nigeria including the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and every other stakeholder.
“What it means is that we have to work very hard if we’re going to have the trajectory of success story on the FP2030,” he said.
While calling for constant engagement with the Minister of Finance and other relevant agencies, Dr. Magashi lamented that “galvanising funding for the health sector in Nigeria is a very difficult because of dwindling resources.”
He, however, expressed optimism that “if we work very hard, we will succeed.”
Dr. Magashi further explained that the key objectives of the FP 2030 commitment for Nigeria is to galvanise action across every level of both the federal, state and local government to support family planning.
“For example, one of the objectives of the commitment for Nigeria is to improve on innovative healthcare financing, both at the federal and state level to allocate at least 1% of total health budget every year to family.
“In the last 10 years, Nigeria has tried to put more money for health and more money for family planning up to $4 million annually, but in this FP 2030 commitment, what we are planning is to ensure that at least 1% of the health sector budget is dedicated for Family planning.
“Also looking at innovative financing through the Basic Health Financing Fund (BHCFF) and also to make family planning reimbursable in the National Health Insurance Authority and also state level Insurance Services.
“This is what it is all about. And we as civil society organizations, media, the young people and advocates, we are working collectively to advance the government in the course of the advocacy to the Nigerian government and governors in Nigeria to put family planning on the health agenda and also on the political agenda.”