By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA—The Federal Government has raised a fresh alarm over Nigeria’s rate of population growth; saying if unchecked will impact negatively on the country’s economy and welfare.
To this end, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, 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.
The Minister, represented by Director, Family Health Department, Ministry of Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi said: “We all know that we cannot continue with the rate at which our 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.”
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, Adewole 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.’’