A former Commissioner of Health in Borno state, Dr Salma Anas Kolo, has raised concerns over the commitment of states towards the promotion of family planning.
Mrs Kolo, a Borno state born medical doctor and a Public Health Specialist with expertise in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health is currently a Director at the Federal Ministry of health.
The former commissioner who also has vast experience in Health Sytems Strengthening had last week led a team of officials at the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja to the ministry’s medical warehouse at Oshodi, Lagos to inspect the newly procured family planning commodities, ahead of distribution of same to state.
Having gone round the warehouse, Dr Kolo did not felt satisfied with the level of preparedness but was also amazed at the workers there who despite the COVID-19 restriction were able to achieve so much work and progress.
The MNCH expert did not waste time expressing how she felt about her workers even as she tacitly worried about such commitment from the beneficiary states towards family planning.
“Today, we visited the medical warehouse at OSHODI to commence distribution of Family Planning Commodities to states,” she said in a post published on her verified Twitter handle.
“I am amazed by the committed staff at the Centre, despite the Covid pandemic there was no interruption. I wish the states are doing the same to beneficiaries.
Though Dr Kolo has not specified the kind of commitment she envisaged from the state towards family planning, her comment came at a time the Nigerian are seeing a huge decline in the national family planning budget.
The National family planning budget has dropped from N1.2 billion in 2020 to N1.06 billion in 2021.
It is on record that at the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, Nigeria signed a commitment “to increasing its Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) by 2% every year to achieve 36% by 2018 to avert 31,000 maternal deaths and 1.5 million child deaths and save more than 700,000 mothers from injuries or permanent illness due to childbirth.”
But it turns out that Nigeria has not been living up to its promised commitments on an annual increment of CPR by 2 per cent. A 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), has shown that the total CPR for any method is 17% among women of reproductive age; which indicated that as of 2018, there was a shortfall of 23.6% CPR need for family planning.
Even though Dr Kolo wishes more commitment from states (perhaps on the distribution of the family planning commodities), there still states of Nigeria that have been doing very well on improving the CPR rate. For example, the NDHS for 2018 has shown that Gombe State was able to impressively increase the CPR from 4% in 2013 to 17% in 2018, which is more than 400%.
The Humanitarian Times hopes that the hardworking Dr Salama Anas Kolo will use her expertise to stimulate more commitment in the area of CPR increase so that Nigerian can be able to meet up with the 2012 commitment.