By Lola Seriki Idahosa —A Kaduna-based non-governmental organization, Family Health Advocates in Nigeria Initiative (FHANI) has called on the Kaduna State government under Governor Nasir El-Rufai to increase the budget for Family Planning (FP) to N362.8 million in the 2020 appropriation from the current N147.6 million.

Pathfinder International had supported FHANI to facilitate the meeting with critical stakeholders because the development would help the State to address the existing funding gap for the benefit of women of reproductive age of its population.

A communique issued by FHANI at the end of that meeting with Kaduna State House of Assembly Committees on Health, Appropriation, Women Affairs and Public Accounts, the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR), of 46.5 % was set for married women on all FP methods by 2018, but only half of the target was met, leaving the State far behind due to lack of commodities and consumables.

The communique jointly signed by the Chairman of FHANI, Alhaji Bala Muhammed and a senior staff, FP Unit, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Cecilia Marcus, noted that, Kaduna State has a population of about 9 million residents, with women of child bearing age put at about 2 million, with high rate of maternal and infant mortality.

Part of the communique read, “that year 2020 family planning budget in the state be increased to N362.8 million from the current N147.6 million, so as to address the existing funding gap for the benefit of women of reproductive age.

“That availability and use of modern contraceptives, would prevent unintended pregnancies, while high rate of unsafe abortions and maternal deaths would be averted.

“The meeting noted that because of the poverty level of families, especially in the rural areas, they cannot access FP services, hence the need for the House of Assembly to support and ensure allocation of appropriate and adequate funds, considering the challenges women faced.

“That partnership between the FHANI and the State House of Assembly is inevitable for the advancement of family health delivery through adequate appropriation and funding.

“The meeting acknowledges the opportunities created for CSOs by Kaduna State Government through good policies and environment with the resolve to work together to provide good governance.
“The meeting identifies the Kaduna State House of Assembly as one of the strong allies of CSOs in the state, hence the need for constant meetings.”

The group however commended the State government for putting in place adequate structures which it thought, should be well protected and utilized.

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