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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

World Contraception Day ’18: Pathfinder laments CPR uptake in Nigeria, says its lowly 10% - NaijaAgroNet

The Country Director, Pathfinder International, Dr. Farouk Jega, has said that despite Nigeria’s investment in Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) for modern methods it's still a lowly 10 per cent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In his address to Nigerians on this year’s World’s Contraception Day (WCD), he noted that its happening against the backdrop of the latest edition of Goalkeepers, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation annual publication meant to track progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

He quoted the publication as drawing attention to the stark reality that unless something is done urgently, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be house to 40 per cent of the world’s poorest people by 2050.

“Despite the significant investments made in the last decade or so, Nigeria’s contraceptive prevalence rate for modern methods is still a lowly 10 per cent,” he declared.

As said by him with a population nearing 200 million, about a quarter of who are young people, Nigeria has a good opportunity of harnessing the so-called demographic dividend by turning the ‘youth bulge’ into a productive segment contributing meaningfully to economic growth and development.

But this demographic dividend can only be achieved if the necessary investments are made in the young population - investments in their education, skills development and health care, including access to full and voluntary family planning.

The National Youth Policy is long overdue for revision to address the reproductive health needs of adolescents and young people in the country. 

Empowering our youthful population is an urgent necessity; failure to make the necessary investments in this restless segment of the population portends serious consequences, some of which may have already started manifesting in increased levels of insecurity and violent crimes across the country.

Improving access to and quality of family planning services, he said, has long been recognized as one of the most cost-effective interventions to address both maternal and child mortality. 

Nigeria recently committed to significantly increase funding for contraceptive commodities at the London FP2020 Summit. Despite this commitment, funding gaps still exist as most states in the country have yet to prioritize family planning, and few have made budgetary provisions for this important service. Stock outs of key commodities are beginning to resurface in many health centers, further compounding an unmet need of women for contraceptive services, which is currently at 21 per cent.
Chuks Egbune/ED, Ops

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