By Sola Ogundipe
Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA 2020) 2nd round survey results released in Abuja recently, show that impressive progress is being made by family planning programmes in Lagos and Kaduna.
Data from the innovative mobile-phone-based survey, led by the Centre for Research, Evaluation Resources & Development, CRERD, and Bayero University Kano, and implemented by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, demonstrate that there have been considerable gains in access to and use of modern contraceptives, particularly for long-acting methods such as intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants.
Long-acting contraceptives are highly effective and can protect women from pregnancy for many years.
The first round of PMA2020 in Lagos and Kaduna was conducted late 2014 while the 2nd round was conducted 12 months later in late 2015.
In the year between surveys, long-acting method use increased by 4 percent points in Lagos and 3 percent points in Kaduna.
Over half of the increase in overall modern contraceptive use in both states is attributable to this rapid uptake of long-acting methods. These data may represent progress made under the Nigerian government’s LARC Strategy for 2013-2015, which seeks to ensure that all women who want implants or IUDs can get them through public health sector providers.
PMA2020 data show that 78 percent of implant and IUD users in Kaduna and 65 percent in Lagos obtain their method from the public sector.
Total demand for family planning has increased between rounds and a greater proportion of that need is now being satisfied by the provision of modern methods.
The percentage of women who want to space or limit their births but are not using a method of contraception (i.e., unmet need) has decreased in both states, by over 3 percent points in Lagos and 4 percent points in Kaduna. While family planning appears to be reaching more women overall, wealth disparities in use and unmet need persist in both states, suggesting a need for continued efforts to expand access to modern contraception to the underserved poor. Modern contraceptive use is twice as high among the wealthiest compared to the poorest women in Lagos and over six times as high among the wealthiest compared to the poorest women in Kaduna.
PMA2020 is being conducted in 11 countries in Africa and Asia and supports monitoring for the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) goal of meeting the family planning needs of 120 additional million women and girls by the year 2020.