By Lola Seriki- Idahosa

To address the challenges of child spacing in Kaduna state, the state government has been advised to budget the sum of three hundred million naira annually, which will equally take care of the incentives.

Given an update on current statistics on child spacing campaign in Kaduna state, during a day discussion with health correspondents and online editors in Kaduna, the Pathfinder International, a nongovernmental organisation in collaboration with Family Health Advocacy Initiatives in Nigeria (FHANI) said if Kaduna can achieves its blueprint goal of 46.5%, the state would save over one billion in costs of maternal and child care.

Dr. Salina Bello, Reproductive Health/FP Programme officer & colleague during the discussion on PMA2020 Round 4 survey results with media houses
They also identified out of pocket expenses as a key barriers for women to access the commodity.

According to the Reproductive Health/Family Planning Programme Officer, Pathfinder International, Dr. Salina Bello, “one of the key identified barriers for women in Kaduna state to access child birth spacing services is out of pocket expenses, where they have to pay for such services,

“To address the challenge, the state government in its 2017 budget created a budget line of one hundred million naira for procurement of CBS commodities and consumables, this is commendable,

” If Kaduna ensures prompt release of approved funds at both state and LGA levels, it will go a long way in helping it realise its blueprint goal,

“It would save the lives of mothers and children, while promoting economic development at all levels, if Kaduna achieves its blueprint goal of 46.5℅, the state would save over one billion naira in costs of maternal and child healthcare and for this to happen, the state need to budget about three hundred million naira annually for CBS services”

She frown at the alarming rate of Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Nigeria and said it can be reduced to its barest minimum, with the practice of child birth spacing.

The Discussion on PMA2020 Round 4 Survey Results which was also held in other part of the country was basically to present to the public through the media the current performance, monitoring and Accountability (PMA) 2020 survey result between 2014- 2017.

She said that the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria is high, but is preventable through family planning, according to research, by almost one third, describing it as the fastest way to reduce MMR.

“We are not telling people to have only one child, we are saying they should space them. Northern Nigeria for instance, has more of the issues as a result of polygamy and inheritance.

Dr. Salina said that the organisation which is 60 years old and works in several countries around the world, is poised at addressing issues that affect reproductive health.

She said they are moving to use CSOs to make governments responsible by making more budgetary allocations to family planning.

Also speaking is the Chairman of the Family Health Advocates in Nigeria Initiative (FHANI), Malam Mohammed Shehu Markafi has said that a key objective of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) Round 4 is to identify key advocacy issues.

He said, “sharing such information was important because they go a long way in addressing several issues.

Mohammed stressed that whatever is deliberated at the meeting would be useful because the world is changing and trend in health sector is no different, believing that what is learnt will help the journalists in development communication.

He commended the media for assisting them in creating awareness to the people, ” we would not be where we are now if you’ve not been helping us, we are in this project because we believe in it, I charge you media to guide the people “

“Objectives are to share results of PMA Round Four Survey with journalists in Kaduna, apply the result in media reportage, to foster and enhance relationship between FHANI and the media, to identify next steps/media commitments,”

He added that it is also targeted at unpacking data from PMA Round 4 Survey and identify key advocacy issues arising from the PMA results.

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