Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun, Benue, Plateau, Oyo, Kaduna and Cross Rivers States have benefited from the capacity training on family planning advocacy strategies and budget tracking.
The 6-day Training which was organised by the Marie-Stopes International Future Groups, Pathfinders International in association with the Ministry of Health formed part of the efforts to enhance maternal and child health through improved access to effective family planning and adequate child spacing services.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Training Workshop on Monday in Garki, Abuja, the Country Director, Marie-Stopes International, Dr. Effiom Effiom noted the concern of international communities and agencies to strengthen the overall health system, build provider capacity to deliver quality service and empower users to demand quality family planning services in Nigeria.
“Family planning remains a key strategy to tackle the challenges of maternal and child mortality rate and also as means of controlling the alarming rate of the population growth in Nigeria which will invariably create room for equitable distribution of resources and reduce poverty level among others,” he disclosed.
Contributing, the Country Director of Future Groups, Dr. Dauda Sulaiman pointed out that the Family Health Plus would help to set up and institutionalise Family Planning Advocacy Working Group (FPAWG) into states to improve policy governance and community environment for a long lasting family planning.
Dr. Sulaiman, who was represented by the Health System Strengthening Advisor, Dr. Emeka Nwanchukwu, added that participants from the selected states would be taken through Advocacy Strategy Development, Evidence Based Advocacy, Budget Tracking and Accountability on Family Planning Issues.
“The training will help to build capacity of participants and the larger advocacy group with the support of multi-stakeholder partnership to engage with various issues and barriers to family uptake in their respective states and work with responsible duty bearers to effect changes that will ultimately improve family planning access,” Sulaiman said.
A participant from Ogun, Director, Primary Health Care Services, Dr. Kafayat Lawal and Mr. Wika Gofwen from Plateau State who is the Head, Health Desk, Plateau Radio/Television and Media Officer of the Advocacy Group, commended the gesture and commitment of the organisers, describing the development as an avenue that encompassing to address the challenges in the reproductive health sectors.