By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – The Plateau State Government has been urged to take seriously the funding for family planning activities to encourage the uptake of family planning services by willing citizens as the burden of out-of-pocket spending could deter indigent citizens from accessing the service.

The government was also asked to release budgeted funds for family planning activities on time as such would ensure that family planning commodities and consumables are readily available and accessible to service providers and clients in the facilities.

Dr. Victor Igharo of The Challenge Initiative, TCI Nigeria gave the charge at the project dissemination meeting with the theme: “Journey Towards State Government Self-reliance and Chronicles of Impact at Scale for Reproductive Health in Plateau State” held in Jos, in collaboration with the Plateau State Government.

Similarly, the Emir of Kanam, Muhammad Mu’azu II who is a family planning champion asked the State government to look inward and generate revenue for the implementation of family planning activities even as he encouraged citizens to embrace family planning and acquire its services.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nimkong Lar, and the Executive Secretary, Plateau State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Livinus Miapkwap in their pledges of commitment to sustainability asked for more collaboration to cover more ground in reproductive health care as Lar noted, “… the State government is ready to support, own and support reproductive health programmes.”

However, the State Government through the Secretary to the Government of the State, Professor Danladi Atu appealed to citizens to know that issues of family planning are beyond tribe and religion but everyone should embrace it for a quality life.

He stressed, “Childbirth goes with responsibilities, space children for the health of the mothers, do not be deceived by politicians who want to use the numbers for political gain, do the needful and plan your family. The driver of insecurity is that our young people are involved in drug abuse and parents are not able to control their children well.”

Atu appealed to TCI that “Criminality in communities is tied to drug addiction, come and assist us in the rehabilitation of these young people, we need effective collaboration to curb the rate at which the young people abuse drugs.”

In a related development, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Dan Manjang has noted that the rate at which the nation’s population was growing higher than available resources was not healthy for the citizenry and appealed to families to increase the uptake of family planning services.

Manjang spoke when members of the Media Action for Health, Environment, and Sustainable Development, MAHESD paid a courtesy visit to him in his office in Jos, where he commended the group for its advocacy and enlightenment efforts to ensure families embrace child spacing.

Earlier, the Leader of MAHESD, Gwamkat Gwamzhi said the group was on a familiarization visit and soliciting for government’s support in actualizing its activities of ensuring a healthy environment and lifestyle for people.

Meanwhile, the group presented an award of recognition given to MAHESD by TCI to the Commissioner.

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