By Marie-Therese Nanlong
The inability of the Plateau State government to allocate and release substantial amount of money for the provision of family planning services to women in need has been described as one of the gaps hampering the effective provision of such services in the State.
A family planning advocacy group, Voice for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Centre, V4FPRHC has raised concern over the development saying available statistics indicate that more still need to be done for women to effectively and efficiently access family planning services.
Speaking at an advocacy meeting with the media in Jos, the Chairman of the group, Professor Josiah Mutihir advocated increase in and timely release of funds by government as well as improved access to quality family planning services in the State.
He noted that despite the fact the “Family planning in the State is financed by public funds through the State annual budget as a dedicated budget line for such was approved in 2018, gaps still exist hence indicators show that more needs to be done to improve the current situation.”
Mutihir stated that available facts revealed that “General government allocation for family planning as a percent of total funding need is 3.21%; general government budget allocation for family planning as a percent of general government allocation to health is 1.07%; percentage of general government budget allocation to family planning released as scheduled is 45.06% and percentage of general government expenditure on allocated family planning funds 45.06%.
The Chairman, “Though the percentage of general government expenditure on funds released from Ministry of Finance to Ministry of Health is 100.0%; annual general government expenditure on family planning per woman of reproductive age (15 – 49) is 21.77% and general government expenditure on family planning as a percent of total funding need is just 1.45%”
He however lamented the suffering women in need of family planning are going through especially in the villages and maintained, “We ask that Plateau State government improve access to family planning services in the State by increasing budgetary allocation to family planning in the State budget and ensure timely release of budgeted funds for family planning services in the State.”