By Chioma Obinna
West Africa World Health Organisation, WAHO, has started to address early warning systems aimed at tackling stock-out of contraceptives and ensure uninterrupted access by users across West Africa including Nigeria.
According to WAHO, the Early Warning System (EWS) for contraceptives has improved visibility and monitoring of contraceptive stock status in West and Central Africa and mitigated critical contraceptive stock imbalances.
At a media parley in Lagos during a workshop in partnership with USAID, the Programme Officer, WAHO, Dr Cletus Adohinzin explained that the basic objective of EWS was to build capacity for those who are providing data for the platform.
Adohinzin added that the platform was also designed to monitor stock from each ECOWAS country and where there are family planning commodities stock out they transfer from countries having enough products. “We also have programme on the capacity building where we train people on family planning. We have contraceptives technology. So, we are providing people with family planning techniques that allow them to make an informed choice.”
Speaking, the Deputy Director, Family Planning Unit of the Federal Ministry of Health, Lawrence Anyanwu explained that the workshop was to improve the EWS that would ensure access to accurate data because without data there won’t be a quality decision.
“The EWS is not about side effects but about supply issues in the near future. It is about determining the trend of availability of family planning to full supply programme, where you must have commodities available.
“There is no room for stockout, no room for expired products and wastages, so you have to get the situation right and ensure that at any point in time where either a man or woman goes to the health facilities for commodities, they will be available for use. “My advice to Nigerians and West Africans generally is that family planning is an intervention in terms of population management to ensure that we have the population that we can actually manage.
“Family planning contributes to at least 30 per cent reduction of maternal mortality. So it is very important in promoting maternal health and child health as well,” he added.
On his part, representative of USAID, Tamah Kamlem, said they ensure that countries in the West African region have enough stock of family planning products as well as close into the early warning system when every month, countries are required to provide data on their inventory to us.