The Federal Government has partnered with the private sector to tackle the $29 million procurement funding gap for family planning commodities to mitigate maternal mortality.
This collaboration was emphasized by the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, at a High-Level Private Sector Forum on Family Planning held in Lagos.
Prof. Pate highlighted the escalating procurement costs for family planning products, soaring from $26.6 million in 2019 to $41.8 million in 2023.
This surge resulted in a funding gap increase from $5.7 million to $29 million over the same period, obstructing the seamless supply of family planning commodities to health facilities.
During the recently concluded 64th National Council on Health Meeting, Pate revealed approval was granted for the establishment and funding of Budget Lines for Family Planning at both National and Sub-National levels.
Prof. Pate acknowledged this positive step but underscored the need for a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process, involving public, social marketing, and private sectors.
He revealed the existence of a National Guideline on Private Engagement for Family Planning, emphasizing its role as a crucial tool in driving this collaborative effort. The forum’s primary objectives include securing commitment from the private sector, presenting family planning investment cases for feedback, and discussing plans to achieve the Family Planning target of 2030.
He urged for a workable roadmap for joint and inclusive implementation, aiming to realize a 27 per cent modern method contraceptive prevalence rate target by 2030.
In Nigeria, the level of lack of access to family planning (20%) exceeds the level of contraceptive use (9.7%).
Family planning services are crucial to improving maternal and child health, reducing poverty. It is important that family planning is not repositioned as a choice issue, but as a health and development issue for the country.
Access to family planning in health facilities would reduce number of unwanted pregnancies, space pregnancies, empower women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health, and improve access to quality care.