Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) has called for an increase in Family Planning (FP) budget for Lagos State.
Edun Omasanjuwa, Lagos state Team Leader, NURHI made this call on Wednesday at the Spit Fire Advocacy Skills Training for NURHI 2 Advocacy, which took place at the East Gate Hotel, Chevron Roundabout, Lekki, Lagos.
According to him, making a special budget for Family Planning will take the state many steps closer to achieving the projected contraceptive use from 48% to 74% by 2018.
“We are making a call to the commissioner for health, Lagos State, Jide Idris, to increase budget for Family Planning in the state by 25% so as to move closer to achieving the projected CPR of 72% by 2018, which would have saved the state N11 billion on direct care cost, prevented 8, 000 maternal deaths, 101, 000 child lives, 2.5 million unintended pregnancies and 79, 000 unsafe abortions,” he said.
Furthermore, Edun also called on Folarin Musliu Olohuntele, commissioner for Local Governments in the state to send memos to all LGAs administrators to create budget for Family Planning so that there will be access to Family Planning consumables for users.
On his part, Chairman of Lagos State Advocacy Working Group (LAWG), Ayodele Adebusoye, said it is very important for the state government to bring to public knowledge, the existing budget for Family Planning before an increase can be advocated.
“I have not seen any budget in Family Planning in Lagos State,” he observed. “We need help in this regard. We need to know what is currently obtainable before we can ask for an increase. Is there a budget for Family Planning, in the first place? If it isn’t, then it should be included.”
While stating some of the challenges facing Family Planning in Lagos State, Charity Ibeawuchi, senior technical advisor, Advocacy, NURHI said funds for Family Planning continues to be minimal and have not increased since the 2013 budget.
“Although, commodities are provided free of charge for Family Planning methods, an additional barrier to accessing services is that some women are still asked to pay for consumables like cotton wool, which they may not be able to afford,” she said.
In addition, Edun said NURHI has embarked on renovation of some Primary HealthCare Centres (PHC) in the state to encourage more people to sign up for Family Planning.
“We have done a makeover for Isheri Olofin, Amukoko and Dopemu Primary Health Care Centres. It was a 72-hour makeover for each PHC. For every unit, there is a counseling room and procedure room to enable privacy for patients.”