UNFPA decries poor budgetary allocations for family planning, reproductive activities
The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), country representative, Dr. Diene Keita, has decried Federal Government’s annual budgetary allocation for family planning and reproductive health.
The Stakeholders are also calling on Government to include men in the family planning processes for effective implementation.
Keita made the lamentations at the weekend in Abuja at Nigerian Health Watch Forum, 2018 with theme: “The Elephant in the Room, Men as Change Agents in the Family Planning Discourse.”
According to her, the estimated sum of $8-10 million (N2.45-N3.1billion) budgeted for family planning is grossly inadequate; despite commendable efforts of government.
Her words: “Nigerian Government needs to do more as only about $8-10 million is expended on Family Planning. India spends over $1 billion (N306 billion) annually.
“Sometimes also it may not be about money but to ensure that the environment is right.”
He reiterated that there is need for strong inclusion of men in family planning process so as to get the necessary result in the country.
She also agreed with other stakeholders that men are strong agents in the family planning discourse.
According to her, Nigeria has contributed to 40 per cent of the global burden of maternal death. “We need to reduce the high level of maternal mortality in the country, as everyday 110 die while giving birth. We will ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, and every potential of each child is being fulfilled,” said Keita.
She reiterated the need to educate the men folk about family planning and not leave only the women to take important decisions regarding her reproductive issues in the family.
“We need to sensitise our men, and educate them on the importance of family planning, so they can have children that they can easily manage, based on economic situation of the country,” at the moment,” she added.
Keita charged stakeholders in the health sectors to reach out to men residing in the rural areas as a large percentage of them do not have the necessary information about family planning issues.
The Country Director of Marie Stopes, Dr. Effiom Effiom, also explained that strategic interventions have not been put in place to promote men’s participation in family planning issues.
According to him, stakeholders in the health sector should start seeing family planning as health issue, and see it as a means of increasing economic power in society.
“It will serve as a means of promoting gender balance, improve on sexual and reproductive health, and also reduce maternal mortality rate in the country.”
He advised couples to effectively “communicate and discuss” about family planning and its safe procedures.
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