By Haruna Gimba
The Nigeria’s Federal Government has raised a fresh alarm over the country’s rate of population growth; saying if unchecked will impact negatively on the country’s economy and welfare.
Statistics by experts show that by 2040, Nigeria’s population growth would have quadruple without commensurate amenities and employment to sustain it.
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, therefore called for the use of Community Health Extension Workers, (CHEWS), to address the problems of shortage and misdistribution of manpower needed for the
provision of access to family planning services in rural communities and other hard to reach areas.
He made the call in Abuja while speaking on the topic: “The Relevance of Operations Research in Family Planning Programming in Nigeria” during the formal presentation of the report of a study by Marie Stopes Nigeria, which assessed the provision of implant contraceptives by CHEWS.
Represented by the Director of Family Health Department, Ministry of Health, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, he said the country cannot continue with the rate at which the population is increasing.
“It is expedient for us to task-shift the delivery of family planning services in Nigeria to CHEWS. CHEWS are to be regarded as an important cadre of contraceptive implant providers readily available for the expansion of access to family planning services in Nigeria,” Adewole said.
Expressing delight with the result of the study by Marie Stopes Nigeria, which provides evidence needed to demonstrate that CHEWS could safely provide implants to clients, the minister urged stakeholders to join hands with the ministry to expand access to contraceptive implants and to ensure that the country makes quantum leaps in the use of evidence-based interventions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.