By Sola OGUNDIPE
NIGERIAN women need to be allowed access to family planning services that would not only enable them have freedom to control the number and spacing of their children, but also help preserve their health and fertility and overall quality of life.
Speaking at the DEVCOMS forum on maternal health held last week in Lagos, Mrs. Stella Akinso, State Team Leader,NURHI, Ibadan, said although the benefits of family planning are not immediate, they are expected to last beyond 2015.
In her presentation entiltled “Importance of Family Planning in ARSH AND MCH” she said: “There is no one way strategy to address barriers to access and utilization of family planning, multiple strategies should be employed.”
Akniso observed that challenges to family planning under the Integrated MNCH initiative included the placement of supply stock out in public health facilities at all levels; no dedicated family planning funding for improved MNCH by government at all levels; and non-coverage of family planning/reproductive health services by NHIS.
She said expectations from collaboration with government would provide the enabling environment for project success, respond to the current gap in family planning commodities and supplies to avoid a crisis situation of stock outs.
She noted that by allowing women freedom to control the number and spacing of their births, family planning helps women preserve their health and fertility and also contributes to improving the overall quality of their lives