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Nigeria unfulfilled promises and FP2020

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“Since the London Summit, an unprecedented number of countries have demonstrated their commitment and leadership on family planning by developing national family planning strategies and committing new resources to support them. More women than ever have access to the tools and information they need to plan their families, which will help them reach their full potential and generate a ripple effect that will allow whole communities to prosper.”

The above statement is extracted from the 108 pages Report ‘FP2020 Partnership in Progress 2013-2014’. Will the above statement be also true for Nigeria? The answer is ‘NO’ and will come back to that later. Let us examine the key highlights in the report.

In his written forward to the report Prof Babatunde Osetimehin Executive Director of UNFPA has this to say “We live in an age of power and promise. Our capacity to prevent harm and alleviate suffering, to challenge what were once viewed as inevitable conditions of human existence is unprecedented. Equally unprecedented and equally important is our shared conviction that we can, and must, use this power for the good of all.”

Key Highlights of the Report;

FP2020 aims to expand access to family planning information, services and supplies to women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries.

  1. All women and girls have the right, and must have the means, to decide freely and for themselves whether and when to have children.
  2. Access to voluntary family planning leads to transformational benefits across the development spectrum, and is one of the smartest investments a country can make in its future. At the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, leaders from around the world committed to expanding contraceptive access to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s 69 poorest countries by the year 2020.
  3. Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is the movement that carries this global effort forward. In the two years since the London Summit, FP2020 has made remarkable progress. The first year was a period of formation; the second has been one of growing momentum and measurable results. In this second annual progress report advances made were documented over the past year, including additional commitments from countries, increased disbursements from donors, and progress across multiple sectors.
  4. One-half of FP2020 commitment countries now have formal, detailed plans to guide their national family planning strategies, including all nine countries of the Ouagadougou Partnership in francophone West Africa. A dozen FP2020 commitment countries have hosted conferences on family planning in the past year. Profiles for 15 countries are included in this report, illustrating each country’s progress toward fulfilling its FP2020 commitments. In 2013, donor governments disbursed US$1.3 billion in bilateral funding for family planning programs—representing a nearly 20% increase since 2012—as well as US$460 million in core contributions to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  5. The data show that FP2020 is on the right track and making steady progress; however, we must collectively accelerate our efforts in order to reach 120 million more women and girls by 2020. In 2013, across the 69 FP2020 focus countries, we estimate that the use of modern contraception by a total of 274 million women and girls averted 77 million unintended pregnancies, which is two million more unintended pregnancies averted than in 2012. Preventing unintended pregnancies creates substantial health impacts by reducing women’s exposure to unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.
  6. The report describes achievements in political advocacy, awareness- raising, and youth outreach, market shaping efforts, supply chain strengthening, service delivery improvements, and technological innovation, with a strong focus on maintaining the rights-based approach at the heart of FP2020. FP2020 facilitates progress by coordinating and building on existing architecture and frameworks. FP2020 is aligned with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, and fosters cooperation and strategic alliances among donors, partners, countries, and other stakeholders in the family planning community.
  7. An FP2020 focal point network has been established in every commitment-making country, and FP2020 assists in matching countries with the technical and financial resources needed to accelerate progress.

While many countries were celebrated for their achievements and fulfillment of promises and pledges in this report, regrettably it is not the same for Nigeria. Its contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) as reported by the NDHS2013 is put at 15.1%. The prevalence has not change over the last 5 years when it was measured by the NDHS2008.  Nigeria on the 11th of July 2012 at a London Summit on Family Planning tagged FP2020 pledge to “in addition to its current annual commitment of US$3 million for the procurement of family planning(FP) & reproductive health commodities, it further committed to provide  additional US$8,350,000 annually over the next four years ( 2012-2016) , making a total of US$33,400,000.. This is an increase of 300 percent.”  And also committed to achieving the goal of a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 36 % by 2018.  Achieving that goal will mean averting at least 31,000 maternal deaths and over 700,000 mothers will be prevented from injuries or long-term complications due to childbirth. Can 36% increase be achieved by 2018 looking at the current CPR of 15%?

From available information in-country, funds for the purchase of FP commodities that improve access were serially not released yearly which made the pledges difficult to be realized. For Nigeria to join the celebrated community of FP2020, it is desired that it speeds up advocacy and sensitization within the finance and health sectors for the release of funds, purchase of FP commodities as well as coordinated distribution of the drugs across the nation.

Written by Dr Aminu Magashi Publisher Health Reporters (healthweekly@yahoo.com)  




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