NIGERIA. Over 2.9 billion Naira has been spent by the Federal Ministry of Health for the family planning programme.
The money was spent on the procurement and distribution of birth control devices.
The director of the Family Planning Branch in the Family Health Department of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Lawrence Anyanwu, disclosed this information during the Securing the Funding gap for Family Planning in the Face of COVID-19 webinar attended by Transcontinental Times.
Anyanwu said that 1.2 billion Naira has been proposed and captured in the 2020 Appropriation Budget for the Ministry, stressing the need for the full amount of the appropriated sum to be released promptly.
Breakdown of the money. The Director said that in the past five years, the federal government has tried to provide funding for family planning programmes, especially the availability of birth control commodities.
“In 2015, N196 million was released. In 2016, 298.1 million Naira was released. In 2017, 915 million Naira was released. While 1.2billion Naira was released in 2018. 300 million Naira was appropriated and released in 2019. However, efforts are ongoing to secure the release of 920 million Naira to meet up the commitment of the federal government to the family planning sector”, Anyanwu stated.
He noted that if there is a constant commitment to the funding of family planning services in the country, it would lead to the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in the country.
The Director stated that the demand for family planning services and commodities has increased significantly in the past two years.
He added that in 2010, 10 million dollars was required for procurement and distribution of family planning commodities, however, in 2020, 28.4 million dollars would be needed for these services.
Stakeholders call for adequate funding. The National President of the Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Dr Minnie Oseji, stressed the need for adequate release of funding for maternal and child health, which includes family planning services.
She said that her association is joining other stakeholders to push for the funding. She has observed that in many cases, monies are allocated but not released by the people involved.
Oseji further stated that the association has begun a programme that would involve the men in family planning to enable some of the women to have access to these family planning services.
The First Vice President of the Society of Gynecologists and Obstetrics in Nigeria (SOGON), Dr Habit Muhammad Sadauki, said that there is bound to be population explosion due to unintended and unplanned pregnancy if funding is not released on time.
He lamented that most of the states in Nigeria are underfunding family planning as their releases are not encouraging stating that in Nigeria, the best state as regards to releasing allocations for family planning in Nigeria.
Sadauki said, “Allocations in states is still very low. State governments are underfunding family planning and the release is not encouraging. The only state in the country that that is a good model on family planning in the state is Kaduna state.”
The Chairman of the Technical Management of Association Alliance for Family Planning (AAFP), Dr Ejike Oji, said, “COVID-19 is a disaster. How would there be funding for family planning when COVID-19 is taking all the money?” Family planning has been forgotten amidst the COVID-19 pandemic because the government is focusing a lot of money on reducing the spread of the virus.
He then called on private organizations to join hands with the government to provide more funding for family planning.