From Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Recently, Pathfinder International’s Media and Communication unit has organized a media forum on a number of issues, to include family planning.
The event was held at Crispan Hotel in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
Part of the revelation during the event was recognition that in the state alone, a total population of 4,638,136 is currently not using Family Planning method, thus about 77.3 per cent of the population.
The state Family Planning Coordinator, Mrs. Rahila Telfim disclosed this during the event.
According to her, men who had knowledge of any of these methods are 94 per cent, while those with modern method knowledge stood at 93.9 per cent.
This statistic was among others she enumerated at the occasion with reference to those in years back, especially her explanation on the percentage of the method in 2018 with regard to annual population growth in the state.
Mrs. Telfim also gave another explanation that about 742 Primary Health Care facilities, both private and public, were offering Family Planning Service in the state, with 19 public secondary health facilities alongside 33 private tertiary ones.
She commended the commitment of the state for releasing the sum of N10 million from the ‘Save 1million lives Fund’ for the purpose, saying that the gesture would address the shortage of family planning commodities for the end-users.
According to her, the family planning board is working toward improving the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) in the state, assuring that service providers would be well-trained in order to provide quality services.
While stressing that their challenges are inadequate skilled service provider, poverty, ignorance, lack of adequate supply of consumables and the inability of the funds for last mile distribution to be released in timely manner,
pealed for the strengthening of supportive supervision at all levels.
She also appealed for dedication of funds for purchase of the family planning commodities, improving human resources to be timely approved and release of budget as well as the creation of spare budget line for Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health (AYRH).
Mrs. Telfim further called on Federal Government to always come down to supervise the commodities and see for itself how the service providers are distributing them to the end users.
Speaking also, a Professor of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of College of Health Science of the University of Jos, and a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Jos University Teaching Hospital and Chairman Voice for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Center, Prof. Josiah Mitihir, said the family planning has made progress records of achievements and challenges of the advocacy working groups.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Wika Gofwen, who is Focal Person DevComs and the state Media Officer Voice for Family Planning stressed the need for media to be engaged in strategic communication with critical stakeholders in order to achieve better results.
He also stressed the need for the media to always think outside the box in public engagement for the sustainability of the project.
According to him, the engagement of the media and stakeholders should be more effective and ensure the information regarding the project is presented in a transparent manner.
Also in his remark, Mr. Bayo Ewuola urged the government to make more financial commitment towards ensuring support to the policy on family planning issues, commending the media for leading public sensitization on child-spacing, which he said has made service more acceptable even in the face of some challenges being faced.
He described the state as dear to Pathfinder International being among the 12 states that are implementing the Advanced Family Planning Projects since its inception in 2015.
He observed that over the years, the state has made tremendous progress in family planning issues around funding and policies, stressing that what was expected from the media, being trained, was the sustainability of the conversation of family planning and making it to be the front burner.
The representative of the state Commissioner of Health, Deputy Director Public Health in the Ministry, Mrs. Elsie Rengkwar, commended the media, describing them as critical in dissemination of information considering the strategic position they occupy in the advocacy for family planning, appreciating the Pathfinder International for its roles in enhancing sound reproductive health of the public.
She urged the media to make deliberate efforts to clear the misconception and myths about family planning in the state.