BY NEWS DESK, SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 | 01:46 PM
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to achieve a modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 27 per cent by 2024.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Daju Kachollom, made the commitment on Wednesday at the opening of a 2-day annual national Pause and Reflect (P and R) Moment meeting.
The meeting, which was organised by the Society for Family Health’s (SFH) Adolescent 360 (A360-Amplify) programme, had the theme: “Consolidating the Gains of Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) Programming in Nigeria.”
Kachollom, who was represented by the Director, Family Health, Dr Stella Nwosu, said that the commitment was not merely a target but a promise to the nation’s youth.
“It is a promise to empower them with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
“The current phase of A360-Amplify programme has placed a strong emphasis on Human-Centered Design (HCD) and integration into government health and development systems.
“This strategic shift is driven by our collective recognition that lasting impact and sustainability can only be achieved through the seamless integration of ASRH services into our healthcare landscape.
“We are not merely creating solutions; we are transforming systems,’’ she added.
According to Kachollom, collaboration with state governments have been instrumental in achieving the results recorded so far.
She noted that each state had developed a roadmap that not only outlined adaptation and standardisation plans, but also held the government accountable for its commitments.
“The P and R Moment, which we have been convening since 2021, serves as a critical checkpoint for assessing our progress, refining our strategies and building the political will necessary to overcome the challenges of ASRH programming.
“As we gather here today, we must recognise that the A360-Amplify programme will end by 2025, I call on states to begin to brainstorm on innovative approaches to sustain the programme.
“The importance of our work extends far beyond the lifespan of A360. The delivery of our commitments to adaptation is pivotal to achieving our institutionalisation and sustainability,” the director said.
She added that it was the duty of all the stakeholders to ensure that the gains achieved so far are not short-lived but became an enduring legacy that future generations could build upon.
The Managing Director, Society for Family Health (SFH), Dr Omokhudu Idogho, said that over the years, SFH in close partnership with government and partners had pushed forward to advance gender equality and further the empowerment of women and girls.
Represented by Dr Jennifer Anyanti, the Deputy Managing Director, Strategy and Technical, Idogho said that this had helped towards increasing the chances of meeting the SDGs related to health, nutrition, education, gender equality and even food security.
Idogho said that the project had achieved key milestones by supporting an expansion of youth-focused service delivery working to attain at least 70 per cent of Primary Health Care (PHC) coverage in focal states.
“Relatedly, A360 has supported in strengthening human capacity for health through training of 1,264 providers on Youth-Friendly Health Services, contraceptive technology and Counselling for Choice; 1,006 mobilisers, 539 male Inter Personal Communication Agents and 439 female mentors.
“These combined efforts resulted in more than 370,000 taking up modern contraceptives for the first time.
“The project continues to strive toward human capital development for adolescent girls and has improved human capital outcomes among 58,000 girls.”
The Project Director, Ms Roseyln Odeh, said that the meeting served as a critical checkpoint for assessing progress made, refining strategies for greater effectiveness and building the political will necessary to overcome the challenges of ASRH programming.
She added that it would also help in achieving institutionalisation and sustainability.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event provided an opportunity for partners and key stakeholders from both government and non-governmental organisations to brainstorm on innovative approaches to sustain the programme.
It also aims to explore strategic ways for sustainability to extend far beyond the lifespan of A360.
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24 June 2023