By Gabriel Olawale

As the Lagos State government work towards achieving 74 percent modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) by 2020, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria-Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health at Scale, PSN-PAS has supported the state in developed score cards that will measure the contribution of Community Pharmacists, CPs and Patent & Proprietary Medicines Vendors, PPMVs.

Speaking during a one-day meeting with relevant stakeholders in Lagos State on key indicators for the CPs and PPMVs family planning score card, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer for PSN-PAS project, Ijeoma Nwankwo said that The score card will contain sets of indicators that will be used to track the contribution and progress made towards the inclusion of CPs and PPMVs as providers of FP in Lagos State.

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“When developed, the score card will be used by civil society, media and other stakeholders to hold government to account for the July 2017 FP2020 London Summit commitment and to influence actions that will ensure CPs and PPMVs provide expanded family planning services in Lagos State.

“The score cards will also serve as advocacy tools used to compare performance based on some set of indicators within and between State government and institutions. In the case of the CPs and PPMVs family planning score card, we want to use this advocacy tool to support the government in fulfilling the July 2017 commitments made during the FP2020 London Summit.”

“As postulated in that commitment, we agree with the government that expanding the scope of family planning and other primary health care services provided by CPs and PPMVs will move our dear country towards Universal Health Coverage/Family Planning.

“While we urge the government to prioritize implementation of the indicators in the score card, it is also pertinent for all relevant stakeholders including the media to know that each day it is estimated that about 100 women die in the process of giving life in Nigeria and about 30 percent of these deaths can be averted by improving access to contraceptives and increasing uptake of family planning services.

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Ijeoma explained that by allowing CPs and PPMVs to provide expanded services, we can save more lives because about 50 percent of adolescent girls in Nigeria are already mothers by the time they celebrate their 20th birthday.

“By the year 2050 Nigeria is projected to be the 3rd most populous country in the world, without proper demographic planning and strategies, Nigeria may not be able to cope with the economic and social challenges this population explosion would cause.

“It is a known fact that Nigeria contributes 15 percent of global maternal deaths, with about 111 women and girls dying every day due to preventable pregnancies and child birth related complications. Overpopulation and high maternal mortality will prevent Nigeria from reaping the dividends of demographic transition.

Corroborating her view, Director Family Health and Nutrition, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Folaade Oludara said that for Lagos State to achieve the 74 percent mCPR goal by 2020, “we need to harness the private sector. This is because over 60 percent of Lagosians patronize the private sector.

“However, about 90 percent of the family planning data in the State are obtained from the public sector. Going forward the State will work to ensure the private sector is well captured and their data are reflected in the State database”.

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On his part, Senior Program Officer for PSN-PAS Project, Edwin Oyoma Akpotor urged the Lagos State government to ensure Community Pharmacists and Patent & Proprietary Medicines Vendors provide more quality essential services and thus be included in all respective policy documents.

“This will be a fruitful strategy to reduce the unacceptable maternal, child and adolescent mortalities from preventable pregnancy and childbirth related causes,” he noted.

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